I had a fantastic sunday: ran my longest run since junior high; watched my daughter's swim practice; went for coffee and croissant with a friend; and spent a sunny afternoon planting seeds and gardening. and the entire day i kept telling myself how truly content i am at this point in my life - our family is enjoying a full life.
and then... sat down with a cup of tea to catch up on reading some of the blogs i follow, and learned of the tragic death of Kathreen Ricketson and her partner Rob Shugg. so terribly sad and a huge loss for their children, family, and friends. Kathreen and the Whip Up blog were such a great inspiration and resource back when i was home with a new baby and just getting back into sewing and knitting. and even though i never met her, she felt like a friend.
i felt the need to do some small thing for Kathreen and Rob's children and you can too. the link is found here. now go hug your kids.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
|indigo dyed flags from little coyote|
|bill cunningham from the sartorialist|
i really enjoyed 'bill cunningham new york' when it appeared on netflix. working on a sewing project and covered head to toe in fuschia feathers, i was struck by the practicality of mr. cunningham's uniform of a blue french utility work jacket.
|blue smock apron from bookhou|
but i like my arms to be free and my legs covered. how happy i was to find arounna's lovely blue aprons are in her shop again. perfect for any work - be it sewing feathers onto a costume or rolling out pastry dough.
and my own contribution to making something blue. reversible tote made of navy and cream cotton canvas with a blue and white striped denim lining. the strap is a piece of vintage japanese indigo cotton with cream woven details. the bag has both an exterior pocket and a pocket on the inside with a 'katemakes' label.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
last summer i started keeping a sketchbook and learning to draw. the two younger kids have embraced it too. we are all a little more creative with our spare time without cable tv.
for christmas a couple of years ago my mom gave me some art supplies, a sketchbook, and an illustrated life by danny gregory. it was so inspiring and led me some of his other books such as The Creative License, Everyday Matters, and An Illustrated Journey. and so i started just drawing without worrying about how badly i drew. i find it very relaxing to draw some ordinary object while watching movies on the computer.
my little guy (who is 5) draws a lot of robots and battle scenes and does so every day. but today he sat down and drew ordinary objects in our kitchen (see the lower right-hand picture). 1. Vitamix blender. 2. Ice cream maker. 3. Dehydrator. it was so gratifying to see him enjoying doing what i do. i couldn't be more proud of him.
just a small list of the drawing books i can recommend from personal experience (in addition to the links to the danny gregory books above):
- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards
- Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes
- Artist's Journal Workshop, by Cathy Johnson
- The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel Campanario
- The Complete Decorated Journal, by Gwen Diehn
anybody can learn to draw - it just takes doing it.
start where you are.
use what you have.
do what you can.
- arthur ashe
Saturday, March 9, 2013
it's been a very long time since i had the time or inclination to post. school, work, christmas, new year's, birthdays, illnesses.... the last few months have been pretty full of life.
my new 'toy' - the collapsible photo booth - means the dreary weather can no longer hold me hostage. it's a bit bigger than i probably should have ordered but i will just have to make bigger things like pillow covers and bags.
spring is definitely on its way and that always brings the urge create. time to reaquaint myself with my sewing machines, camera, and etsy.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
a new school year means new school supplies. my kids' school supplies are included in their tuition which is convenient and means that all the students have the same supplies. however, i do love shopping for new art supplies and we ran out of sketchbooks some time ago. it's too easy for the kids to grab my printer paper and the sketchbooks are a great way to see their progress as artists over time.
the plan for these sketchbooks is that they will be used for 'family drawing time'. the idea is from amanda soule's book 'the creative family' though we've been doing our own version for years. we always remember to take paper and a pen when we go out to eat with the kids and pass the paper around the table while waiting for our food to arrive. everyone gets a chance to spontaneously draw with elaborate and often hilarious results. each of us will have our own book and sit down together to draw the same object at our own dining room table. (cancelling the cable tv last year has been great for doing creative things together).
this is the first time i've seen sketchbooks with such colourful binding. de serres is having a sale - five books and a tube of winsor & newton white gouache was about $50 - if you're in canada.
let the drawing begin!
Friday, August 31, 2012
monkey shorts: little shorts to wear under your skirt while playing on the monkey bars.
the girl will be starting grade three in a few days and we've been getting ready - shoe shopping, labelling clothes, and organizing her uniform. we decided that maybe it might be nice to have some little shorts to wear over her underwear/under her skirt - to preserve a little modesty while climbing the playground equipment during recess. i used an old pair of leggings as the basis for the new shorts.
- one yard of cotton jersey, pre-shrunk (can make about 6 pairs depending on size). i used navy blue to comply with school uniform requirements. old t-shirts would work well if they are very stretchy.
- 1/2" wide elastic, a couple of yards if you want to make a few pairs
- thread to match jersey fabric
- small pieces of ribbon (optional) to use as tags/labels
- tracing paper or scrap paper, paper cutting scissors, pencil, ruler
- old pair of leggings or jersey tights to use as a pattern
- sewing machine (that can sew zig zag stitch)
- serger machine (not necessary but very nice to have)
- sewing machine needle for knit fabrics
- twin sewing machine needle for knit fabrics (not necessary, but great for finishing hems on knit fabrics)
- scissors or rotary cutter (for fabric)
- measuring tape
Step 1: Cut the old pair of leggings to desired length and cut along seam lines.
Step 2: Lay the leggings onto the tracing paper and trace in pencil.
Step 3: Add 1/4" seam allowance to the seams and 1/2" to the hem. Draw a line to indicate the grainline and label with any notes you might need. Cut out the pattern with your paper scissors.
Step 4: Pin the pattern to a double layer of the fabric, lining up the grain line. Cut out using your fabric scissors or a rotary cutter.
Step 5: With the fabric pieces right sides together, pin the leg seams together.
Step 6: Sew the leg seams making sure to remove pins as you go. If you are using a serger (as I did), just trim off a little as you sew. The seams can be sewn using a standard sewing machine - use a stretch stitch or a narrow zig zag stitch. Stretch the seams as you sew.
Step 7: Turn one leg right side out.
Step 8: Place one leg inside the other, right sides together. Match leg seams and pin.
Step 9: Sew the crotch (is there another word?) seam together, removing pins as you sew. Again, you can use a zig zag or stretch stitch with a standard sewing machine if you don't have a serger. Remember to stretch seams as you sew - we wouldn't want this important seam to split open while on the monkey bars or doing cart wheels!
Step 10: To hem the legs, turn up the bottom of each leg 1/2" and pin. Sew from the right side using a standard sewing machine with a twin needle or using one single needle with a zig zag stitch. Don't forget to stretch the fabric and remove pins as you sew.
Step 11: Measure the elastic waistband from the old leggings and add 1". Or wrap the elastic around your child's waist, stretching it slightly. Lap the edges of the elastic over 1/2". Zig zag stitch the elastic together.
Step 12: Divide the elastic waistband into four even sections and mark with pins. Do the same for the shorts. Pin the waistband to the wrong side of the shorts, aligning edges. Stitch edges from the right side using a serger OR zig zag stitch if using a standard sewing machine. Remember to stretch your fabric and elastic and to remove pins as you sew.
Step 13: Fold over the waistband to the wrong side (interior) of the shorts and pin. At this point you can add a little piece of ribbon to the center of the back (optional).
Step 14: Using the twin needle, sew the waistband while stretching the fabric/elastic and removing pins as you go. This can also be done using a standard sewing machine with a zig zag stitch.
Step 15: Make a lot of monkey shorts and play, play, play!
Monday, August 20, 2012
we've started getting ready for school to start. and after spending a small fortune on new shoes and some extra uniform pieces, i decided that i could make them new lunch bags with fabric i had in my stash. now that my little man will be in all day kindergarten he will have to take a lunch and snacks. and the girl seems to have a hollow leg so the generous size of her lunch bag will accomodate a full lunch and lots of snacks.
i used the tutorial from pink penguin with a couple of small modifications to enclose all the seams. inspired by knot, thread, stitch i traced the kids actual printing/handwriting and embroidered over it. they are thrilled with the results.
now to research some lunch ideas...