Monday, July 26, 2010

Sewing Challenge Finale

I have been sewing like crazy during every spare moment to finish what I have come to think of as THE DRESS. Just a short time ago I "met" the lovely Carolina through blogging and quickly discovered I had found a kindred spirit. We both want to learn how to sew, and decided to make the same dress and blog about it. We chose a tunic dress from the book Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt. I have sewn a few craft items but never a garment. I made several attempts, but never finished anything because even with the "easy" patterns I always encountered BIG problems. Not so with Kay's instructions, I was able to make her tunic dress without any difficulty. So without further ado, here is the first dress I have ever made. Tada!

I am very pleased with the results, the dress fits, and I had a lot of fun making it. Thank you Kay! Because I'm a novice, I did get a little confused while putting in the invisible zipper. I have never put in any kind of zipper before. Even though I felt a little lost, I must have done okay because it looks great (as much as an "invisible" zipper can). This next picture shows one of my favorite parts. It's the inside of the bodice, and I love it because the edge looks so neat and clean and tidy unlike any other sewing I have done previously. Maybe you shouldn't look too closely, you'll see I can't sew a straight line very well! I will definitely make more clothes from Sew Serendipity, and highly recommend the book, even for beginners.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I couldn't sleep this morning and went outside very early, good thing too, because I was just in time to rescue this little cutie-pie from the jaws of death. He was scared but didn't appear to be injured. After a long, quiet rest, he seemed quite frisky. I didn't want to turn him right back out into our neighborhood which has lots of prowling kitties, so the kids and I took him to a place suggested by a wildlife rehabilitator. We wished him well and watched him bound away to conduct his bunny business.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sewing challenge update

I have been reading (Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt, of course), and pinning, and cutting...
and fretting, because now I actually have to sew! My sewing partner, Carolina, has already made a muslin prototype from the pattern we are both attempting, which you can check out at her blog here.

The writing isn't flowing today, probably due to fretting, so I will switch gears and show you a quick gift idea someone told me about. I put fresh basil in a vial with water and centered it in a square vase, then filled in around it with cherry tomatoes, added ribbon and its ready to give!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sewing Challenge!

I'm so excited!! The extraordinarily creative Carolina of The Muse of the Day challenged me to work through a painting instructional book together, and I suggested we alternate each painting with a sewing project. We decided to begin with a sewing project and today we reveal our fabric choices. We will each post our progress on our blogs so be sure to checkout Carolina's blog and follow her progress as well.

Our first project is from a book full of wonderful ideas (with full size patterns) called Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt. You can find out more about the book and order it from Carolina's booklist on her blog. We are going to try the tunic dress you see here.

I love the border print the model is wearing, but since I have never sewn clothing before, I decided to choose a simpler print that I wouldn't have to match up. I'm very nervous because I've never sewn a zipper before, but it should be lots of fun too! I'm really looking forward to sharing triumphs and probably tears as Carolina and I work our way through this. I need to thank my lovely and agile photo assistant Emily (my soon to be 11 year old daughter) who was willing to climb a drippy wet tree in exchange for a cheese omelet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Messenger Bag

I made this little messenger bag because my philosophy is "never go anywhere without a book." I'm pretty proud of it because I can't really sew. I took some computer paper and scotch tape and made a paper mock up the size I wanted. Then I measured the model and winged it. I lined it to make it strong enough to tote a hardback. Most of the credit goes to Anna Maria Horner for her beautiful fabric. I embellished one flower with embroidery which you can see in the next photo.

I tried a photo-op with Lucky, but there is always a critic in the bunch. He just wanted that bag outta there.

Now these next two photos I decided not to use, but I like them, so here they are anyway. A big thank you to my friend Janet, and Lucky, at Summerwinds Stable!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trying something new

Stepping out of my comfort zone! I painted this wet on wet, which I never do (okay til now), I used Arches paper instead of my favorite Fabriano, and I used another brush (gasp) instead of my favorite, favorite, squirrel brush (shhh, do not tell him!). And I painted from my mind's eye instead of life or a photo. Looks like the Outer Banks to me. Not too shabby for a first try, but I need to use more pigment, less water I think. It was fun to paint so I'll give it another go. What do you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

More from the beach

Another watercolor from the beach, a common tern. Actually laughing gulls are a lot more common here but I couldn't make a drawing of one that I liked. I made up the mussels; I thought
all the blues would be pretty. I paint watercolors on dry paper but I recently saw some beautiful wet on wet ocean scenes, I think I will have to give it a try. I will post the results if it turns out. Maybe I should post it even if it doesn't turn out!

Monday, July 5, 2010

On the beach

We have had some fabulous days at the beach! We did some seining and got juvenile fish and minnows, grass shrimp and grumpy blue crabs. Dip netting got us more of the same and an ugly oyster toad fish. Jim and Jack went clamming and came back with 100 clams. And of course we all did alot of floating in tubes and swimming. Ahh summertime!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Beautiful Day

Today we are headed to Dewey Beach to poke around and look for critters and of course do some swimming. If its not too windy I will do some painting. Hopefully I will have some beach watercolors for you when we get back.