Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Getting ready for the Writers Conference

This Friday I am participating in the Whidbey Island Writers Conference which is organized once a year by the Whidbey Island Writers Association. Whidbey Island is one of the islands that make up the Puget Sound community, to get to Whidbey Island I have to take a ferry from Mukilteo, which isn't too far from my home - maybe 10 miles or so. I am excited to go because there are always so many dedicated writers at conferences like this one, many of them struggling with their manuscripts just as I am. Also there's always a good chance to meet agents or editors from the big publishing houses, so it's fun to try out my pitch on them, even though I'm nowhere near to finished with my novel.
I haven't written much lately, on the book, that is, but I've been thinking and thinking about it and re-reading Susanna Clark's "The Ladies of Grace Adieu." I love the metaphors she conjures up as well as the odd premises of her stories. She's created a faery world that sits just outside our modern comprehension, as if it's in our peripheral vision, evading us as we glance toward it.

Apart from writing, I picked up an incredible beadwork-oriented book the other day called
Beading with Cabochons: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Jewelry. It is filled with exquisitely beaded semi-precious gemstone (and dichroic glass) cabochons, and details of the techniques the artist used to create the beadwork. Utterly fantastic work. It sets me dreaming.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Plus Size Swimsuits

You ever reach a point where you just have to admit to yourself that you are a large woman? And even if you do lose that 50-60 pounds you keep intending to lose, you're going to be large in the meantime?
Well, I ordered some plus sized swimsuits today from SwimsuitsForAll.com and lucky me, I got them on clearance! The first one is a retro 40's-ish polka dot cutie and the second is sooo waaaavy and grooovy!

By the way I was in a fender bender on Friday afternoon when I was coming home from having stitches taken out from dental surgery and I rear-ended a dark green humongous SUV, causing damage to that car's bumper and a couple of fender dents to my precious Jeep...When I got home I did feel like crawling into bed with the covers up to my nose and hiding from the world...I didn't realize I had any injuries until a couple of hours later when I was scrabbling around on the floor cutting out pieces of dupioni for the Issey Miyake Futon jacket and I felt a big lump under my right knee...I must have bruised the bone when I hit the brakes. Also have a huge purple bruise on my other thigh where I must have hit the steering wheel. Other than that, I am okay and my Jeep is okay. To quote the lady whose car I rear-ended "Thank God for big all-metal American cars!"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Snohomish Attacked by Giant Felt Fruit

I never thought I'd see the day when I would be making felt fruit. Yep. those hideous centerpieces from your childhood dreams have manifested in reality right here in Snohomish county. Regard how nonchalant Jinx is by this news. She's not happy but she's not particularly frightened. Perhaps a trifle annoyed at having to share space with neon-colored felt fruity things.

These 27 pieces of non-tasty fruit are props for a children's production of "The Jungle Book." Apparently they are lobbed by hoards of small child actors at an evil tiger as it leaves the stage. Hence they are soft sculptures filled with the loftiest polyester stuffing so no one gets seriously hurt. Except perhaps the audience which might suffer hysterical blindness after witnessing such an event. After all they are unnaturally neon-colored. The stuff of nightmares.

In case you want to create your own trauma inducing giant bananas, Linda has graciously allowed me to post the banana pattern she drew hastily in a moment of abandon.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Celtic Knots for Beaded Jewelry

Now for something completely non-sequitur -

A few years ago I was heavily into micro-macrame and created a necklace that had some Josephine knots as part of the design. It received some modest acclaim, but I wanted to further explore using Celtic knots in my work. The other day, I happened upon a neat book called Celtic Knots for Beaded Jewelry by Suzen Millodot. Wonderful!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Okay, More 30's Patterns...

If you have ever had to create period costumes for theatre shows, you might have found, like me, that period-accurate shoes and hats are the hardest items to find. So I've been cruising around the net looking for 30's hats and have found two purchases. This one os Butterick 6928 from 1936. I'm thinking of using the C pattern.

I am thinking of using hat 1 or 4 from this pattern for one of the other ladies.

Also, I just couldn't help myself with this pattern for a dressing sack from the 1910's... for myself of course, not this show!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Vintage Patterns from 1930 for Theatre Production

I am starting to collect vintage patterns and ideas for the costumes of a theatre production of "Brecht on Brecht" which I will be directing sometime later this year. Here are a few of the patterns in my collecton that inspire me.

Some of the actual costumes will probably be found in second hand stores; some of them I'll either have to sew myself or hire an extremely talented friend of mine to sew for me, since I probably won't have the time to do that myself.

There are three women characters in the play; one is a musician, one is the wife of a rich doctor and the other is a young journalist. Most of the fabric we'll use is already in my stash; I do have to go out and find a nice piece of faux fur for a coat collar for the rich doctor's wife.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


My friend, a propmaster for a children's show at the Village Theatre needed a special prop built - a blue colored stuffed horse that serves as a mascot for a highschool in a musical version of "Midsummer Night's Dream". I thought I would have to blow this pattern up to at least 150 percent of its original size, but they were happy with it being just 22 inches high; here he is partially finished. Still have more of his mane to put in and he needs eyeballs and lids. I used Vogue pattern 7603 which was created as a companion pattern for those 18 inch high snobby looking dolls. I think this pattern would work really well for creating unicorns or pegasi...might make a purple velvet unicorn for a friend's 6 year old daughter...