WoW! I can't believe I've gone such a long time without a post! Things have been a little hectic around here. My cousin and her too kids came for their annual summer visit, so my regular routines were totally out of whack for the last week! I also had to work on Monday. This is my last week of freedom. Next Tuesday it will be back to school for the year! I have to try to adjust to the early mornings again so I am going to try to go to bed by midnight from now on.
First of all, DH and I have been working on some minor home improvements. Here is our latest:
We installed this Hunter remote control fan ourselves in the family room two nights ago. We are desperately trying to take measures to conserve energy. Our electric costs have increased 80% in the last year and we have oil heat. I was hearing on the news today that heating oil will be 30% higher than last year and we paid way too much last year as it is! We have also been putting Gila Platinum window film on our back windows. The back of our house gets the late afternoon sun and it makes it at least 10 or 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. The film adds a very slight tint and it actually keeps the windows cool to the touch. It is supposed to help trap heat in the house during the cold months. At night, it becomes reflective and you cannot see out of the window easily. Harley has been seeing his reflection in the French door and freaking out, thinking it is another cat! It's been amusing to watch him!
I got another package from my Secret Pal! Check this out:
What karma! I was just getting ready to order that book in the KnitPicks sale! Needless to say, I absolutely love the kitty markers! Thanks again, Secret Pal! You truly know how to spoil me!
I finished my other red top:
It's just like the sleeveless one except for the long belled sleeves. I probably should have made a size smaller as I feel it is a little big in the shoulder area. The fabric is cotton spandex so there is a lot of stretch. I could definitely use more negative ease, but I still like it. I raised the neckline just a little more since I will wear this to school.
I pulled out some cotton spandex prints I bought last year to make two more tops:
Both of them will be sleeveless. I would like to find some black stretch lace trim for the leopard one. I like tops like this to wear to school with a shrug or jacket on the days I have yoga. All I have to do is change into my yoga pants before I leave then I can just walk into yoga and kick off my shoes!
My order from Webs came. I bought Tahki Sierra for the Surplice Camisole from Knitting Lingerie Style which I'm knitting for the Sexy Knitters Club KAL.
Sierra is 70% silk and 30% linen and it has a tweedy appearance. It is a soft wheat color.
I also got some Bristol yarn gallery King George for the Opulent Raglan.
This yarn is a warm chocolate brown and it is 45% merino, 45% alpaca, 10% cashmere. Like buttah!
I also bought the pattern for the Silken Scabbard. I'm thinking that I might use KnitPicks Elegance for it. There are two colors that I love--one is a peacock blue and the other, called Raisin, is a deep deep purple!
My friend Barbara came over today and we went out to lunch. She is my sewing buddy! We used to skip the end of the year staff party and spend the afternoon at G-Street's annual sale. Sometimes we get together and play with dying wool batts or overdye fabric--or whatever! Anyway, she was clearing out some stash and brought over a lot of wool fabric. Most of it was gray or plaid in colors that I don't wear. I did take two though. The first is a brushed white coating. It is just like the gold fabric I have to make my 3/4 winter coat. There are 6 yards! I need a dressy winter coat that I can wear over my midcalf dresses. I have two that I really can't or don't wear. One is a great coat I made in the late 80's, but it has huge shoulders and looks very dated. It is the warmest coat I have ever worn. The other is a spectacular vintage coat by Lilli Ann from the 40's. It is absolutely stunning with all those details I love about coats and jackets from that era. After gaining a few pounds, I simply cannot button the front as it has a 26 inch waist! Try wearing that over winter clothes! With 6 yards of this wool:
I want to design something with vintage lines but with some very unique details. I don't know what, but it will come to me when I'm not trying. This is why I don't buy stash fabrics. I just don't know what to do with them. I usually pick a pattern then look for fabric. When I see the right fabric, I immediately know it. If there's doubt then it isn't the right one. I'm the same way with yarn. I also chose another piece which is a lighter weight butter yellow woolen.
I have no clue what I want to do with that. I will probably do a suit or a winter coat dress with vintage styling. I'll know when I see the right pattern. There are about 5 yards of this.
I think I am pretty much caught up on my projects! That's it for now!
A bit of nostalgia
The lovely white coating I got today inspired me to show off one of the coats I made some years ago. This coat has always been one of my favorites. Unfortunately it is dated with the huge shoulder pads and boxy shape. It was a stunner when I wore it. It was made in 1991 from Fire Engine Red Boiled Wool. I wanted one single design element to be repeated in various parts of the coat. I chose triangles to be the theme. The coat was titled "Isosceles" with the name being embroidered on a suede label with the year and the fiber content. The buttons were isosceles triangles and the button holes and welt pockets were scalene triangles. Wherever there was an isosceles triangle, there was an adjacent scalene triangle. One would be black and one white. The triangular bound buttonholes and the welt pockets were done in lightweight ultra suede as were the triangle patches. The pattern was a Burda pattern and I designed the cuff as the pattern only had plain sleeves. I'm sorry that it isn't at it's best. It needs to be cleaned as the white suede is particularly dirty. I used to get a lot of comments on this coat as the triangular pockets and buttonholes were quite unique!
Buttonholes and buttons:
Bushism of the day:
"One thing is clear, is relations between America and Russia are good, and they're important that they be good." --George W. Bush, Strelna, Russia, July 15, 2006
Kitty Cam: The tiny tuxedo twins have the right idea for how to use a treadmill!