My Strings

The Figurative and Literal Strings of My Life


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And a niece was added

As I mentioned in another entry a new family member was added by my sister last August. A gorgeous little girl they named Camilla – after our paternal Grandmother, who died January 1st last year, just after my sister found out she was pregnant. Providence…that what we in return were given this little girl.

The cutie

The cutie at about 7 months

So true to tradition I embarked on my ‘baby basket making’-frivolities. I love making these – it’s fun and noth to mention cosy – and gives way to making a lot of little different things for baby…and mother. I get to try out new things and knitting patterns – so something in it for everybody.

Only difference this time is that I didn’t have time to finish it for the first baby visit which I usually do. However, then my sister called me and asked if I would be Godmother to Camilla (of course I couldn’t or wouldn’t say no) – and this meant I went even further and crazier than usual.

The simple blanket…(my nephew is still using his)

Propellor blanket

Propellor blanket

A cardigan. Usually I don’t go for the boy-girl colour chart. Don’t like to box it like that – but then…I found this cotton yarn in lilac and pink – and it was really cute…so what the h…

Baby multi colour knit

Baby multi colour knit – will become the mentioned cardi

First came a cardi…then booties…then a hat or rather and owl hat. It took a while but now it fits…

Owl hat...

Owl hat…worn in the vampy-teeth-stage

And socks…of course you can never have too many socks.

And…(somehow most of my project pic have vanished…well must be somewhere)

And then the other things…stuffed animals. (Almost) Can’t have enough of those…and then there was the Piggy…this vintage piggy bank – too cute to let go of. I found it at a flee market on my birthday with a special edition copy of the collected works of the Brontë Sisters. That was a good day.

More things…more socks…

I have so many yarn scraps the sock production will go on for some time…luckily my sister doesn’t mind. I get to repurpose, remake and ‘invent’ fun little projects which are usable – and they get to use it all. Everybody wins.

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New Inspiration

Felt kind of lost for a while. Didn’t feel the inspiration. Felt like nothing went as I planned and wished for – so not productivity. On top of the too little running – way too little looking at my goal and time frame – all due to an annoying infection in the heel cap which meant I adjusted my running style which then meant it went to my knees – and Ouch. Ouch to the point where there would be a burning feeling in them when I was lying down – and my feet would burn when getting up from a period of inactivity – like just sitting down for just a little more then half an hour.

Extremely annoying. So I’ve been powering up on my yoga – not there is anything bad about that – at all. I LOVE it – oh so much. Working, sensing, feeling my way further into Jivamukti and my inner well being – uh, and in one month I’ll be of the a weekend retreat – can’t wait. No the annoying part is that because of the infection, sitting down for long stretches of time just was not possible. And sometimes the less I make means my inspiration fades.

So, I kind of tried to boost it by tuning in on sewing quest, planning company (which hopefully will be up and running within 6 months – don’t wat to haste or force it) – and an excessive over use of Pinterest pinning with a focus on sewing, corsets, crocheting – sprinkled with a little of this and that. Slowly working myself back to a more positive and productive frame of mind.

So when sewingpatterns.com had a sale I bought 9 new patterns – all vintage/retro reproductions…of course and I also found a few on Etsy. And I am slowly getting back. I’ve cut 6 dresses, well over 20 corsets – and more are in mind, found some new techniques to try out, made new corset patterns, sizing them, shaping them – there are so many various shapes to be found in just one patterns – it is amazing. I’m regaining my will to and my passion for also making things for other people as well – a feel that has been gone for a while – due to some bad experiences.

Well, one is cut and done. Cute pattern – New Look 6723 – sort of Mad Men inspired – not a vintage/retro, but still, it has the feel. One dress with several variations – 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves and two different necklines – so loads to work with.

Mad Men-esque dress pattern

And then sanity went out the door and I went for crazy and perhaps went a little overboard with my fabric choice. For one I will definitely have to go crazying down in the accessory department – a lot in fact – bordering on no more than a black cardi and it will have gone too far.

Back view – and full view of the crazy fabric

The dress is fairly simple. Fully lined bodice with no sleeves, high back though not all the way up to the neck. It has princess  seams, which I love as they make it so much easier to fit clothes to  my proportionately annoying – sorry, keeping it positive- my proportionately challenged body and to top the top of a cute sweetheart neckline. Which I’m often very careful with as with a small back and waist and a substantial bust size can be…hmmm…not always good. It can flatten the chest in a very ugly way – but somehow this one works – even with very little altering.

Front view of the sweetheart

The bottom is a 4-piece A-line skirt. For this dress due to the heavy fabric I chose to make 4 pleats along the side seams instead of an even overall gather which I would have chosen had the fabric been lighter and more flowy. Also if I add a 2-3″ wide belt to the waistline it will accentuate my waist and widen the hips just a bit.

Side view

Finish of with a back zipper and sewing the lining i place by hand.

All in all – very nice I think – though crazy.

Full on view of crazy – and yes still missing my dress form…

It will be interesting to try it on and out…into the real world…

And also…I’m running again…slowly…building up again – but wup wup I’m running!


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Sugar or no…

Sugar free post

A certain Mr. just popped by …but some visitor you just don’t want to invite in for a cup of mocca…

A new plan have formed in my mind -I´ve done it before…several times…but it’s been 1,5 years since the last time…so, this time inspired and motivated by my friend I’m going for NO processed sugar for 30 days.

Starting day –

No matter the language – no sugar (just started my Japanese lessons again today)

Starting the week by celebrating my 32. birthday with my new plan. It seemed like at good place to stop… and start. And 18 months since the last time is just too long – and very bad of…so back in the game and here we go.

Monday September 3rd: Also known as my birthday…I did and did it well with no sugar at all. Had a nice morning starting with lovely Jivamukti Yoga continuing my quiet day out into the world… or almost quiet not counting all the lovely messages on various sites, texts and call. I had dinner with a close friend and then we went to the movies to see the latest Batman movie…(not too bad…fairly ok movie ;-)…). I had celebrated with my parents when they came here during the weekend, so really there were no need to go crazy or spoil myself. And as my friend is still on her no sugar-crusade it was an easy choice to see the movie with just water.

Uhh, no sugar in vintage form

Thuesday…up at 5:45 a.m. – yoga at 7:00 a.m. Yoga really is my favorite way to start my day – love, quiet, 100%, giving…calm. Moving on to the Royal Library to do application work. Research a bit for my own aspirations to start a business. A short date with a girl friend and then over the spend the night with my friend. All the way through the day – no sugar – save from the fruity kind…

Plain and simple

Wedensday…yoga yoga yoga spiced up with a bit of pilates – need to do something about that core strength. Then some work (the sensible part of the day). The an evening in the Dojou. Then we went home to sleep. Leopard soup was the lovely dinner of the day…still no sugar…and still no problems…

It is all over – I am so not alone

Thursday…actually no yoga today. My usual Thursday yoga class have been cancelled due to changes – very bad. And I haven’t found a new one to substitute. So for now these mornings are for my weekly long run which hopefully very soon again will be 15km+ but I’m still battling the remnants of an infection I got from pressing on too hard. But it is really hard to keep back when a run is going really well – and you are aiming to run a marathon eight months. But I will get there, I will, I will… For one more day turned – NO sugar, though I am getting a bit hooked on my daily smoothies…which is the sugar rush of the day…just without the sugar.

Cute

Research have started though – to find alternatives to sweets and treats, ’cause I know at some point this will get harder…so much harder, and I’ll need something to cheat my mind and settle my cravings. For now dates and dried apricots are working just fine…

Some raw food and vegan treats seem as if they could give me good alternatives

I a still not quite clear on how severe I’ll be with this challenge. Meaning are we just talking added sugars or also cutting  food with a high natural occurring sugar level…or will a thing like this be allowed. Danger is out there and all over – no sugar added does not mean safe.

Healthy filled chocolate treats…hmmm… too good to be true or what…

Usefull things and advice:

From things-we-heart

1. Put down the candy…yes right now…take the mini snickers out of your mouth
2. Get rid of your candy….no need to throw it away…either give it to your grandma (they love candy in bowls) or donate it to a food mission
3. Make a cup of tea (coffee is ok but tea is actually good for you)
4. Drink tons of water
5. Eat loads of fresh fruit and veggies
6. Exercise outdoors…feel the nature!
7. Voila!

Health and chocolate – choco-lovers love this: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/health-by-chocolate

Inspirations for the journey:

Eating Well Living Thin (er)

NamNam

L-Jay Health

Kath’s World (super cool girl training for Body Fitness challenge 2013)

Loving Fit

Love


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Dress-up for another year turned

Finally, got a bit back into the sewing deed. Which I guess is sort of about time. It’s been too, too long and not at all according to plan – and not to mention – not very good of me.

So, a little while back I went all in and cut: a skirt, a dress, another dress, a pair of shorts, yet another skirt, a top and…hmm, nope guess that was it…oh no I also cut a bag out of some leftovers from a green flowery skirt. And another skirt…short, girly kind. Many of the things were cut from the same cloth – just wanted to finish it up.

Light-blue-with-baby-pink-roses

Well, I thought I would make the top as it’s something I don’t really make that often.  So it would make a nice change to make a top…but one rule forgotten…and I began at a time where I was a bit tired…stupid little me. I sat starring at the form I had cut a few months back, and I just couldn’t figure out why the pattern and the cut out fabric didn’t correspond in the bottom half. It was longer and had an added width – it meant nothing to me in that moment.  I just couldn’t figure out what on earth I had been thinking.

So what did I do…I went and cut it into form following my pattern…And it wasn’t until I had finished cutting and well on my way to sewing when it hit me…nooo…but oh well was the only possible way to take. I fortunately had a skirt cut that would fit til new-length top. The skirt was meant for a round-cut skirt with a dark blue waistband and bottom edge band (which I hadn’t cut yet)….but apparently not this time ’round.

Contrast like this – but skirt not at all looking like this

I gave up – something didn’t want me to make a top…so I ended up making yet another dress. The reason why I didn’t want to make a dress from this fabric was that I already have made one a few months back. Granted from another pattern…but still.

Project one

I’ve used this pattern before so everything just seamed to flow from one end to other (probably had used up my screw up points for this project already:-)…). No alterations really…other than the usual – shorten the skirt considerably (to compensate for lack of long legs), take it in a bit more in the darts under the breasts, remove a bit under the arms, and take it a bit in in the back seam.

The lovely pattern

I made the strap section in a contrast colour to add some more life and crazy to the dress. Works really well, very happy about the feature – but it also meant I need to dig out some more of the turqouise fabric so I can make a belt for the dress. The colour is so strong compared to the soft baby blue and baby pink roses that a belt in that same colour as the strap is needed to pull the dress together – make it whole.

Doesn’t do much to show off the true colour of the strap

This means another wait till I can deem this outfit all done and finished – need to find the perfect belt buckle for the belt. I think something with a mat finish. Bright would not do well for this dress and these colours – I think it would add to the cold side. Not that I can’t wear the dress until I’ve made the belt…but…it wouldn’t really feel right to wear it until it is all done. Though it looks nice already – and as it is sort of Summer-like dress in the colour scheme I should try to wear it before Summer’s over…hmm, today.

In almost all it’s glory

However, keeping positive I still did finish yet another project. Very good. Yeah. Also another vintage 50s style dress. And –  One sted closer to my goal.

Side view

Soon I’ll turn another page in my life book. Plan to do it with two hours of yoga in a new class, also I have a gife certificate to try hot yoga…maybe I’ll be daring the day I step further away from being born.

Happy 1st of September and Fall to all.


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Doll On

Ha, finally finished something I posted I wanted to make. Which is really double great – as for once I’m going against my vow not to make things for myself with a hard deadline. But I guess promises are ment to be broken (hope not)…sometimes and at least I’m the only one taking the fall for this one – only me to hurt me (and that can be bad enough at times…internal cat-fight…wrauu).

NO – I will take back control of this out of control spin of ideas.

So back to the good part.

It started with this:

Rows of dusty rose with roses

More planning…figuring things out – more so than usually – as I am trying out a new corset pattern…so taking a bit longer than normal to fit the pieces together in my head.

Then on to the borring face of cutting…

All done – finally…at least with the cutting

Going through a bold fase and trying out the no helping pins while sewing…so far so good…even with the added “thrill” of using my mothers old sewing machine – old but dependable – very noisy and haven’t seen any help or service…but still – it can sew…

Tadaaa

Many hours spent on ebay searching for the right lace, trims and appliques. And in white – something I usually never god for. I’m just not so good with white…or more correctly good with keeping things white…

Butterflies in vienice lace – I just couldn’t say no

In the spirit of it being intended for Copenhagen Grotesque Burlesque – I try to go for all in and all the way. Luckily I have a good friend keeping me on my toes – I usually always go for simple and understated – perhaps an oxymoron saying corsets with understated – but I usually manage without trouble.

Close-up of the French lace with silk ribbon and the vienice lace covering the boning

So lace lace and then more lace – and what the h… – then some more lace just for the fun of it.

Ending up with this. The bands at each side adorned with the butteflies are sewn in between two of the panels – and are ment for being tied into a huge bowtie in the back – just for som added doll charm…

Final result

And here full view of the bow…and the back side of the corset. Before punching the holes…which is the final thing to do – but it just got too late to do – don’t think my neighbours would appreciate me hammering holes in at 10 in the evening.

Back bowtie

An now – all finished…a skirt and a shirt to go for the full attire..


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Baby Patch

In my family it has always been a tradition to make things for any kind of occation…big or small.

David – 3 years – loves Cars

And three years ago my sister had her first baby – georgeous little boy – and I of course wanted to make something special. As it so often happen with me and my crafts need one idea sort of expanded into several.

I ended up making a patchwork baby blanket – hand sewn from one end to the other – perfect for going home from the hospital wearing new garb. The blanket is also a perfect fit for the baby carriage. It actually didn’t take as much time as I would have thought. I made it in a wind mill 3D pattern in blue tones with a triangular quilting pattern. Very cute.

My inspiration for Davids blanket

I knitted a carriage suit, a matching hat, several pairs of booties and a sweater. I also made an embroidered keep sake with his facts. Lastly I made a very simple double layred fleece comfy blanket with a hand stitched edge. My nephew still uses it – perfect for those hot summer nights where a duvet is just too much.

Windmill

Well, three years on and another baby on it way – new plans. Actually, I going to do much the same again – with a few variations. No need to make the same – the items are fine and can be used again. But still, she… (yes, my perfect sister, doing everything the perfect way is now having a girl :-)…no love that gives me opportunity for variation in my creativity)…she needs to get something new, that’ll be just hers.

The finished blanket – patch, quilt and all

So firstly I made her a patchwork baby blanket matching the first one. The patterns are sort of similar – but then again not. This one is also made with a 3D windmill pattern – looks very much like the plastic windmills on a stick you can get children at the carnival.

The four different blocks assembled

Even though it is for a girl and made more girly than the first one I made – I really didn’t want to go all in on girlyness – so I was carefull to tone it down.

I had the three in front (yeah) – the fabric for the back side I bought

I chose four different kinds of cotton fabrics. For the back layer I chose  pink fish on a white background. The front I cose to compose of a classic candy striped, one with tiny roses on green and then a sort of kitchen things/flower theme print on white. It was a bit of a gamble whether they would work – but you got to live a little on the dangerous side sometimes.

Quilting pattern consists of circles and half circles

I’ve started a mutli-coloured cardigan – and I’ll make a hat and some booties again. The booties mostly beacause I’va found two great vintage magazines with some cute suggestions. But I not as pressed for time with these things  as I was with the blanket – she needed to get that before she had her little girl.

Other than these things I have only got one more set plan – the baby fact embroidery (klokkestreng – still not sure what it is called in English or if even is something used outside Scandinavia).


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Life vs. My World

I really am an uneven match for competing with life and events taking place. somehow you would think this really could not be new to me or anyone for that mattter. But in spite of my 31 years of full on living I still at times have a hard time accepting that I am not always in control of what is going on with me or around me.

Not that I am an anal control freak…that much…well at least only when it comes to myself and the things I do – not with other people (saying this in the hope of it making it a bit more alright…)… No I just really like being on top of things – I am one of those people who makes endless lists and have an all time updated calendar. There is just something compelling about being able to cross things of a list – the feeling you get when physically seeing your achievements is important.

Lalalalalalala…experimenting with diversion of thought

But I do know there are things beyond my control and beyond my grasp – I can accept that fact – I can live with that fact…but when life crashes on my personal space of need and freedom – I reserve the right to protest…

My comuter crashed….oh, the horror!

NOT acceptable – AT ALL. How dare the darned thing break down on my – going into it’s own little happy circle of neverending start-up. I really do not do well with technical thingies not working. I forces me to realize that I am not as independent from those machines as I’d like to think I am. I have no problem going days without turning it on – not a problem…no addiction tic sets in. But when you know your access is not possible the frustration sets in.

And worse – there is NO room in my budget for a new pc at the moment – don’t know what to do…but for the time being I’ve borrowed and old pc from a friend. It really is so very sweet of him but wow sooo slow – you have time to make coffee while it goes through start up.

I could choose to look on the bright side – as I at the same time have had to set aside everything else in the sewing department. For a long time I’ve been pushing a few planned or sort of planned projects in front of me with the excuse of having enough time. Then suddenly not so much time – so not having to spend time in front of the pc might be a good thing.

First project – clothes for the next Grotesque Burlesque Copenhagen – also I had to wait and see if the theme of the night could be worked  in and also other wishes for the nights dress up.  As it happened the theme will not influence my clothes – Palace of Forbidden Acrobatics…all very well and opening up to fun and games…but I just can not picture myself in a full body leotard not even with a corset to match and make up the finish – an idea I’ve been flirting a bit with. I don’t think I can forget myself enough – and not being stick thin – I am not really sure I could pull it off without looking like a plump little bulging ball in spandex…so next idea…

Dusty pink with tiny roses – will make up the main feature of doll

The idea with the most votes ended up being all in on dollification. And here I still have to take not just some but a lot of deap breaths…I like simple, sophisticated, 50s style clothing. This is not even near simple and sophisticated. I’m trying to ease my mind a bit with the period I’ve chosen as inspiration – the 1880 porcelain dolls. But still I love feminine – but the girly and lacy and very cutesy…no not so much. But on the onther hand – why do it if not doing it well and all the way…

So in the near future I will be seen in dusty rose, with roses, all over frilly and lacy – not to mention puffy and curly. Oh my…don’t think too much…or you’ll scare yourself…

So…

Fabric choice for baby blanket

Second project – or more correctly projects. My sister is pregnant with her second child. And her being the perfect being that she is – she is having a girl this time (first one was a boy…just turned 3 last week).

Well, in my family we always make things for the new babies. My give here is a baby blanket – patchwork – hand sewn. It is not that big – so it doesn’t take that long to make. Meant for going home from the hospital – and fits perfectly for the baby carriage. I also make another blanket – more simple – two layered fleese hand stitched along the edges. Just at comfy kind. My nephew is still using his – perfect for those summer nights too warm for regular duvets.

And then the last fixed item – klokkestreng. Don’t know what it’s called in English – or if this even is something used outside Scandinavia. They are a bit like a baby book – with just that facts – date of birth, weight, length, time….

Embroidery – klokkestrenge…no English name comes til mind

After that it is just whatever I feel like making…not being made by others…like my mother making a ‘pakkekalender‘. I’ll be knitting for sure – I’ve been missing just sitting and relaxing with some knitting.

Baby multi colour knit

Teddy bears have been collected, a basket found and now I just have to fill it with usefull and fun stuff.

If I can find/take the time…there is also a trip to Berlin coming up…can’t wait…love that city.

Also I really need to finish a project soon – looking back most of my post for a while have been start up posts…hmm, well one project should be meetings it’s end very soon (just as soon as I pick it up – forgot it at my parents house last time I was there). But I know it’ll be finished soon – as I now have found the perfect buttons for the Candyfloss Bundle...