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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High and Low

Started my weekend on a high with my parents annoncing their were coming from the other end of the country to visit. Love that. So seldom I see them – miss them so much. I do know compared to other countries living at opposite ends of Denmark might not seem that far apart. However, when you take into account our very low speed limits for all kinds of transportation – so, driving the 325 km takes well over 3,5 hours. To long to just pop by…shame…

AArhus (Hornslet) – Copenhagen – 324 km give or take

But in more ways than one it was great they came – when I got home Friday everything in the hall way leading up to my second floor apartment was blackened and sooted – really revealing all the cob webs. As it turned out someone had got in a set a fire at the base of our steps in the basement – my floor neighbour told me. Luckily, the first floor residents came home soon after, saw the fire and put it out. But if they hadn’t come home by them – I would have had nothing at all to come home to. The building is old and dry – it wouldn’t take much to take it down.

Unfortunately it is just one in a series of horrible events lately – involving excrements on doors and ruined hall way floors with ice road salts. And I was told the fire incident is not the first.

What makes it worse is that the police didn’t have time to come (they did come very very late anyway…saw them from my window only by chance…). And the insurance guys aren’t coming til Monday – so we can’t clean or do anything about the look of it all. One other lucky thing here was that no smell got into my apartment even though the smell is really bad in the hall way.

LOOKING for a new apartment – PRONTO…

So this made me even more happy my parents were coming as I didn’t really feel like being alone that night.

We also try to see or do stuff when they come here. You live a place and in your own country and you often seem to know less about these things than you do of foreign places. So we decided to go on a flea market spree around the city and then end the day with seeing some classic tourist attractions in Copenhagen. This time we went to see the Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid (H.C. Andersen) by Edvard Eriksen has been sitting in the harbour since 1913 – with a few exceptions. She went to China to one of the world expos, and a few times she has been removed as some have stolen her head.

We managed to go to 5 markets which is quite good – and we did happen upon some great finds. Mostly early in the day – all the good stuff vanish quite fast, so really there is no point to rummaging  that much if you are out late.

The beautiful little girl. Most given comment have been “My she’s got a lot of hair”. And in this pic Camilla (named after our paternal grandmother who died earlier this year) is just 2 days old…

With the pig i found a new anniversary edition of the collected works of the Bronté Sisters – great find.

Bronté

I found an adorable piggy bank which I’ll add to the baby basket I am making for my sister and my little niece (a tradition I have to fill a basket with things, mostly home made, you can use for and with the baby, and also a little something for mom). Got it really cheap also – so cheap the other stall holder got a bit cranky with his wife. And also a patent-lid jar for just under a dollar – normally they cost at least $5.

Le piggy..

At another market – a more high end one…and no so cheap…well, I found the loveliest shoes. Normally I wouldn’t buy used shoes – or at least I am very careful if I do. You have to be nice to your feet. But these – I almost didn’t care what the condition was…a pair of very lovely Chanel. Cream and blue with an anklet in cream and blue knit. Tasteful decorated with only little gold enhancements – to my liking, not into that much bling.

Vintage Coco Chanel shoes. So lovely and different – love the blue tip and strap up along the middle of the foot.

They just drew my eyes. They would look every so good on my little feet – but alas…little feet not small enough. And pulling a Cinderella stepsister move is just not my thing – I like my feet too much. But they were hard to leave behind…So were these…

Lola Ramona. Beautiful Danish Design. Vintage feel with twists and fun – they are a story in themselves. So great – def. have too few of them.

Last find of the day was a cute little box – or almost the last. But the last I didn’t buy – too expensive. A shame it was a very beautiful oil lamp that would have gone so well with my other lamps…but $350 was to much. But oohh…

Chokolate Box

Last item of the day.

We went through some of the oldest defence areas in Copenhagen – and in the middle of them we saw a strange monument comprised of a series of polished granite walls and lighting. One wall named all the places where Denmark have had soldiers both in peace and war after WWII. The other wall listed the fallen guys in war also after WWII as it turned out there it was the name of my friend who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2007 – I didn’t know about that wall. I’m not that much into the whole military thing, and i general I do not condone war and our involvement in them – which did lead to somewhat heated discussions between us at times. But it still made me happy to see him and the others honored in a tasteful way.

In memory of T.O.R.

Nice day to all.


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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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B-day in style

A friend of mine had decided to go all in on her birthday – no arguements here. Her her husband and some friends of his had ‘burger night’ and sat the kids – making it possible for her to go out and paint the town…something she haven’t done in years. A shame she is really good at it :-).

Well,  she invited me and some other girls to a very good sushi restaurant and later we went for fancy drinks. Already here – good evening recipe. The restaurant is situated on top of Copenhagen – so to speak. It is on the top of a very tall building housing the Tivoli Hotel – so very nice view all around.  We said in the ‘asian’-side – meaning no shoes – but to accomodate that no everybody can sit on the floor and eat properly – they’ve mades holes in the floor for the tables and backs, a pillow and arm rests long side the tables making it up for chairs.

A little part of the selection of the evening

We had the best table possible – about 3-4 feet from the window making the view and later the sunset fill up all the way through dinner. Very nice. Decision was we had to come back just to try and sit out on the terrace – to enjoy the view with more sushi and cool white wine.

It wasn’t just dinner we went all out on – also dress up. All in means all in all the way. My friend had bought a fantastisk 50s style dress from a little local shop. This gorgeous  thing the pattern and colour made up of dark red velvet like roses on a black setting. Looked so good on her.

Pretty Woman

I of course decided to make my dress for the evening myself – need to…and this was a Perfect excuse. I went for an old Butterick pattern. I originally made one of these years ago. I was a great dress – but it being a bit poopy and me being poofy back then – it just added up to a little too much poof. But with the extra weight gone I decided to give the pattern a go again.

Butterick poof in both ends

The fabric chosen is a satin weaved cotton – weaved in stripes of shine and dull – in a lovely dark red tone. Very fancy. It is actually a pretty simple dress.  Single layered 4-part skirt – just your basis all round, skirt lining with a gathered 30-35 cm tulle band set a little over halft way up the skirt lining.

Tulle lining

And more tulle – I think the ruffle is made up of about 8 or 10 panels 35cm x 100cm – give or take.

Tulle close up

A doubled up top front part – that you just fold in over a strap from the back top part after the dress has been put together and you’ve finished setting the zipper – stitch lightly in place. And there you go – a dress.

Back view

I think the thing that took the longest was to gather the tulle and set it on the lining. So all in all a very easy dress. Also I hardly had to adjyst anything. Only the waist to chest ratio is never quite right – I always have to take it in. It’s not that I’m small in the chest-department – but loosing weight have taken of some substantial weight there also – a thing that never happened before when loosing weight.

Front view

So my “perfect” 1950s measurement ratio is gone. Bye bye…well at least for the top part. The bottom part is still perfect ratio – meaning no pants will fit me in todays fashion. And going for the 40s and 50s fashion with the hight waist – that I absolutely adore – is just a ‘No Go’ – high waisted pants just make me even shorter than I am. And I really can’t afford that….being  only 5,2…

And hopefully this will be the last horrible show the clothes pics – I’ve finally found a dressform living up to my picky standarts. Just need to find the time to pick it up…so maybe there’ll be a few more horrible pics…but I hope not.


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The Candyfloss Cardigan Bundle

It’s amazing – I love how one thing can turn into another – and then another yet again…yarn yarn yarn in all sizes, shapes and colours – such lush, wonderfull colours.
But… now having hit that troubling point again (as I always seem to do) – the temptation to just bundle the whole thing up and pack it away for a rainy day…far far away…is just so much more appealing.

The annoying place in my knitting adventure being a point you just can’t seem to avoid when knitting clothes – sewing it all together and even worse – weaving in all the ends…such a tedious task. But as with most tedious task it has to be done.

Which is weird – as I love to sew…but weawing ends and sewing up the parts just doesn’t seem to get me going. I love to knit – the process, the intricate pattern possibilities, fitting it, making it all come together – but still, argh…

Even though I am really looking forward to it being finished – I still find it hard to kick myself too the finish line. Also I’ve found a lot of incredible 1940s and 1950s knitting patterns – and have entered the mental state of ‘so much to do so little time’-mind. But I’ve decided that I can’t start another project until I finish one – one out/one in – trying to keep track of all the things I want to try and want to make.

Another system has found its way into my life. It isn’t just the fabric addiction which is taking up space and time – also everything to do with yarn – though that isn’t as bad as the fabric-trouble. The new system is a list – so every time I get an idea for any kind of craft project I write it down on a list hanging in my window – and every time I finish I cross the finished part out with a bright coloured feltpen. Alright adimittedly it has become far far longer in a very short time – but better too see and get the feeling of getting somewhere than get annoyed because I have remnants of an idea in my mind that I didn’t write down – but it the remnants will haunt me anyway.

So for today…I think I’ll settle for the bundle and find my way to finishing some other chores – I have some new systems for my kitchen – things to brighten up the room and make time there just a smidge easier…

image

And maybe tomorrow the candyfloss bundle will morph into a vintage style cardigan…


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Bonus finds

Once in a while you get so lucky and just happen upon a thing that is just perfect. And often it happens when you are not looking at all – but actually hunting for something else.

This time was no different. I was helping a friend with her kitchen last Friday – which ultimately meant two trips to Ikea (her 5th trip – for just one kitchen…very annoying…but…noooone to take responsibility in Ikea…) because of wrong parts. It is a brilliant idea that you can build you own kitchen just to your liking…but gosh the work and trouble that comes with it – you start to wonder if it is worth it.

Well, the positive element of the day was a trip to an antique store I knew and had mentioned to her several times. And this day with a car at our disposal we took the chance and went there. My friend had for some time been looking for a coffee table for her living room without having any luck since she had very specific requirements for the size and hight of the table which is not at all standard for todays coffee tables.

We came, we saw and score…bam…one great table after another…end then not only one but two perfect ones. So then we had to pass som time debating which was more perfect all the while taking a trip round the rest of the place. And here I happened upon my find of the day…a handbag.

The Mustard Bag

The perfect little accessorie – I think it is possibly late 1950s but more likely to be from the 1960s from a Bon Goût ladies handbag line. Great size, multiple rooms i a sort of layered way – almost like two bags in one. And the colour is great – very special – sort of a mustartd brownish yellow. Normally I hardly ever go for any kind of yellow – has never really been my colour but lately I’m sort of warming up to it in spite of it really not being my colour. But for accessories it really is great, spicy and give something extra – not to mention it is such a happy colour – still wouldn’t paint my walls yellow though…

Roomy little thing

Next step of the mission – see if it’ll go with my favorite shoes – a pair of saffran yellow suede pumps. But I need to get them resoled before trying out any combanations…what if it looks great…I would want to take it out straight away showing it off…and that wouldn’t bee good for the shoes… 😉

And oh yes she did decide – so we also to home the coffee table and some cute nicknacks for sushi dinners…

Chop stick rests