Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Went back to work today, and started stitching on the pelisse/half-robe coat. It was nice for the day to go by a little faster and have people to talk to!

It looks as though Sean is having a great time in London. His blog takes a loooooong time to load even on high speed or broadband because of all the pictures. You can read about a few ghostly encounters he had in the Tower of London. He's also called a few times, although Sunday morning he forgot about the time difference and called at 7:30AM :) But that's OK. Sean, if you read this, you'll have to call me at 8:15 my time (1:15PM your time) or after 10:00PM your time.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I can rejoin life! It's a day or two earlier than expected, but then again I didn't have them really badly. It wasn't until lunch today that I was sure, so I didn't go to work today but I'm going back tomorrow! I cleaned the apartment LOTS more, although it still looks disgusting *sigh* and packed up. I also went to Value Village to drop off a bunch of clothes Sean and I were donating. I also went in, to buy nice wool blankets to use as the "batting" for Anton and Olivia's quilts. I got those, as well as scoring a few excellent finds.

Yay for vintage fabric! The navy and green stuff in the lower left corner seems to be polyester, and is lots for a knee-length skirt or a top. The stuff above that is all a heavy canvas-like material that could make cute clutches. The patches Mara is examining are all vintage cotton, which will someday become part of a cute patchwork quilt.

This is a handmade apron I got for 99 cents, and I absolutely adore it! The purple is so bright and vibrant, and I suspect it's 60's or 70's fabric as well. It very much looks like it at any rate.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I'm so pretty...:D

Here's some photos I promised earlier today:

The stays from above. Sorry about the light/dark thing happening. You can see the 4 hip gores , and one bust gore. They provide extra room, as well as smoothing the abdomen and lifting the bust. I used pink thread to mark the centre, as well as baste, since I didn't want to waste the linen thread it came with.

A closeup of a hip gore, and my very fine backstitching ;)

And the stays from the front. The hip gores are very visible.

This is my grad portrait in sepia tones. It was a little add on when I picked up the pictures, and I dare say that they look better than all the colour pictures. Oh well!
The good thing about being stuck at home is that I've not forgotten a single pill. Usually I forget at least one or two, but not so far! I'm stuck at home at least until Wednesday, maybe Friday. The little spots are in an area about 1.5 times the size of a toonie, and they're just these itty bitty little red things! It's funny, because I had hardly any spots and was hardly sick with chicken pox either! But no matter how sick you are or how many spots you have, you're still contagious. So I'm still at home *sigh*. I went out very briefly yesterday, just to get the first season of "House" and gas (and a slurpee...mmmmm).

I'm feeling a little better today, so maybe I'll clean the kitchen. If I still have energy, next is packing up some more sweaters, and then maybe trying to make my shirred top. I'll have pictures of stay progress today, once I finish some dishes up. I've got 5 of 8 gores stitched in now (and thank God I was smart enough to do the larger hip gores first).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Ick. I have Shingles. (Why me?). I'm not sure how long I'll be off work, but I have to stay off for a little while since I can spread the virus (in the form of chicken pox) to anyone who hasn't had it. Apparently the "Sciatica" was actually just the beginning stages of the shingles. This will give me lots of time to knit, and I'm also starting another project:

It's an 1830 Wedding Stay, the one worn by the woman who's getting laced up. I'm going to sew it by hand, so that if/when I get the chance to do some real historical costuming I'll have an accurate reproduction. It's made of 100% Cotton Drill with 100% Linen lining (incidentally, the sheets at the hospital this morning were cotton drill...), and I'm using real linen thread and silk thread to sew and embroider it. I cut it all out last night.

The only thing I wish is that I had a way of going and getting movies, I don't know if it's a good idea for me to drive to Blockbuster or not. Maybe in 48 hours, after the anti-virals start working.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Allergy Eyes (I hope)

Man, I HATE allergies. Because in June-July, whenever I wear my contacts for more than 4 hours my eyes look like this:

Yeah. It's really gross, and it really hurts. If I accidentally leave them in for a decent amount of time they get REALLY hideous, in fact when it first started happening (Summer of 2002) I finally went in to the ER to get it treated - the Dr. took one look at it, and stepped back saying "EW!".

It's never good when the Dr. says "Ew!".
The hip/sciatica is still bothering me, so I'm not doing a great deal of walking around, and still no machine sewing. At 2:05 today I kissed Sean goodbye as he left for his flight to Winnipeg for two days, then London for a few days, and finally on to his fieldschool in Egypt. His website, with blog, is here, so I'm feeling a little mopey. Especially since I still can't machine sew, even though Olivia's quilt top is done, Anton's quilt pieces are cut out, and I've bought the backing fabric! I also bought fabric for two simple skirts (I'll be making the one the model is wearing, but without the welts and buttons over the kick pleats). One is red, white, pink, and black flowers; and the other is a beige linen. Fabricland is having a massive sale, so I couldn't pass it up. Once I can finally sew again there will be an absolutely flurry of FO's! I find I sew more in summer, I think because it's an activity that needs a certain amount of time set aside to do each step (at least in an apartment as small as ours, that doesn't have a craft room set aside where I can leave projects out as I work on them), and in the winter with school it's easier to just pick up my needles and knit a few rows. Plus I like knitted winter stuff more than knitted summer stuff :D

Speaking of sewing, my new research project idea for the Fort is to develop a new pattern. Every year, each student (both High School/Experience and University/Student) has write a research project about the fur trade. You can also choose to develop a new historical pattern/recipe/etc. Since I'm not wild about the current jackets (look at the 1858-1880 riding habits on this page) since they, as I say, don't seem to be historically accurate to 1815. Evidence from research I've done also says that women wore coats that "fell to fullness either from the waist, or more commonly the bust". Ergo, I am making what might be called a half-robe or spencer or pelisse. My pattern uses a bodice from a long-sleeved empire-line dress, then adds a "skirt" which falls from the bustline to the top or mid-hips. I'm drawing heavily from Katherine's finished half-robe. I can't wait to make other things from her wonderful free patterns as well.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Well, I got in to Univeristy of Manitoba, for an After-Degree Bachelor of Education for Senior Years with a Major in General Science, and Minor in English. We'll be moving at the end of August, into a nice apartment that will allow us to keep the cats. It's 900 sq feet, almost twice the apartment we live in now! We're very excited. Although my mom doesn't think it's necessarily a good idea, we may buy a small bar-fridge sized freezer. This is mostly dependent on whether I have celiac disease or not (oh yes, they haven't decided about that yet). If I do, we'll have to get the freezer because all celiac flours and baked goods must be kept frozen so they don't go rock hard or spoil, and with the little apartment-sized fridge that's nowhere near practical.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sockapaloooza, Haversack, and Grad

I finally recovered from the pinched nerve/sciatica/whatever-it-was enough to return to work and get pictures of things I'd promised.

My sockapaloooza socks from Dorothee! As I said, I was wonderfully lucky enough to get TWO pairs of socks (my own will be mailed out tomorrow, FINALLY. Please forgive me Lisa! You already know who I am because gmail isn't anonymous, to my dismay). I just love the first pair, they look a lot like Pomatomus socks. I adore the colour of both socks, and the blue-green pair is Regia Canadian Colors! (Really, if they're "Canadian" shouldn't it be colours, not colors?). Thanks so, so, so much Dorothee. I would have taken a picture of the chocolate, but it's already all gone, minus one last block (urp!).

This is the haversack I'm making at the Fort. It's completely handstitched using real wool and cotton thread on melton cloth. The leaves aren't stitched down yet, but will be stitched down with overcast stitch like the turtles. The fringe is made of czech glass seed beads in a pattern I came up with on the fly. The handle is braided leather with a navy polyester satin ribbon (sorry, no silk satin. I wish it was all natural fibre). I'm very, very proud of this haversack, and I think it's absolutely beautiful.

My cousin Chris, our Grandma, and I after grad. I adore this picture, and it's one of the best that turned out of that day. My grad portraits turned out gorgeous as well, but I have to wait for them. I thought they'd be in on June 5 for some reason, but oh well. I think I might call them just to get the date again.

My family, quite a good picture I think. Dad, Becky, me, and Mom. I do really like this one!

Sean and I. Although he insists this is a good picture, I don't think it's great. My eyes are partly closed, and I'm leaning forward since we were facing up a steep slope and I had heels on. Heels + hills + soft ground = funny angles in pictures. I made the dress myself, and I think it turned out pretty well. It was slightly tight, but a size up would have been too big. If the fabric hadn't been so delicate I would have basted it together first, then I could have used slightly less seam allowance. oh well. It was still pretty!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

K is for...

Karlie! I've decided to be narcissistic for this letter in the ABC-along. Since I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment, we're going to have a great big photo essay.

I was born in Northern Ontario in 1983. This picture is me at 1 year old. I was very, very blonde, for a very long time. I'm still blonde of course, but my hair is no longer rather clear coloured.

I always did have a penchant for sitting on top of things. There's pictures of me on dressers, desks, shelves, even roofs. It explains why I like rock climbing so much! This is in 1986.

I looooooooved this bike. I would have been 4 in this picture. I remember riding it home from the Canadian Tire, and being absolutely thrilled! It took me a long time to learn how to ride it without training wheels. I think I was 6 or 7, and I took the bike out to the walkways in the backyard and fell over all afternoon finally learning. I'm trying to remember, but I think I may have taken the wheels off myself. Might have been Dad though.

In 1990 my little sister was born, and this picture is part of a series of family portraits we took after she was born. The dress is from when I was a flower girl at the wedding of the daughter of friends of my parents. I'm not sure if it's visible in the above pictures, but I had a grey front tooth. When I was two, I fell while on a set of cast-iron steps, and drove the baby tooth up into my gums. It eventually game back down, but it was dead and therefore looked grey (incindetally, it also damaged the forming adult tooth, and in some of the pictures below you can see its mottled colour). For these portraits my Dad, a dentist, put a white ceramic coating over the grey tooth so that it would look nicer. They had an awful time stopping me from running my tongue over the tooth under my lips.

A very cute Christmas picture of my sister, Becky, and I. This is in 1991. I think this is the year we gave Becky an orange and blue Little Tykes slide to go in the basement. Dad and I put it together out in his woodshop. Becky was thrilled, and it was a wonderful toy that was used for many, many years.

This was my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Our dresses, as you can see, match, and were rather cute. They both had very stiff crinolines underneath, and fell straight down from shoulders and stood out in a (cute) circle all wround our feet. While my grandparents were opening gifts, my sister, who was sitting on the opposite side of the couch as me, decided she wanted to see the presents and stood up on the couch, and walked over everyone's lap to the other side. Lucky she was only 2!

My cousins, who used to come down for a couple weeks every summer from Yellowknife, surprised us and came during spring break as well. We're down at my cabin in this picture. Notice the gorgeous neon coat, which had matching slush pants.

*sigh* my Grade 7 picture. Grade 7 and 8 were the worst years of my life. Although I'd been constantly bullied as school until this point, over-sexed adolescents decided that adding new arsenal like how I ugly I was and calling me a man would be entertaining. Oh well, two of my worst torturers are not doing well in University, so meh.

This was my Grade 8 grad dress, although here we're getting ready for a piano recital. I was SO ANGRY that my Mom had let my sister get (near) matching dress to mine. Now it wouldn't bother me at all, but when you're 12/13, these things matter. My Mom now acknowledges that this was maybe not the best idea.

Another family portrait time, this time with my WHOLE family on my Mom's side. My cousins came down for only the second time for Christmas, and we had a good time. We all learned a dance to a Backstreet Boys song that my cousins had done for a skit night and performed it for everyone, with much hilarity.

Our trip to the East Coast! I look frighteningly skinny in this picture because I'd just finished recovering from whooping cough, and was 5'3", 85 lbs. Scary stuff. Green Gables was pretty, although busy and very commercial. The best part was actually Cape Breton Island, which was at least as beautiful as Hawai'i.

Ah, my 18th birthday party. I was about to go off to University of Alberta, I'd graduated on the Governer's Honour Roll from SJR, the high school where I found my niche as a smart, enthusiastic, and musically-inclined person. I was very, very happy! I discovered that I live best in a bigger city with more access to artistic opportunities. I know they say you can make yourself happy anywhere, but it's much easier if you can find a place you want to be.

This was the dress I wore to Jenny's grad. She didn't have a boyfriend, and we were best friends, so she decided to ask me if I wanted to go. We had a TOTAL blast, although the photographer was pretty amusing. He assumed that she'd brought me as a date, and kept trying to get us to stand closer together in the picture. We were like "Oh no, no no! Just friends!" but I don't think he believed it, lol.

More family portraits! I was really, really sick for this portrait (part of the undiagnosed stomach problem), and covered in blush. I think they turned out well though! I'm not wild about the haircut, since it makes my face look very round, but overall it's good.

Ah Hawai'i! I got to go thanks to my parents who gave me half the money to make the trip. It was an unofficial geological field school, so we spent 8 of 9 days hiking over the lava fields. It was wonderful, although I think more than one afternoon spent on the beach would have been greatly beneficial.

My cousin's wedding last summer. Here I am with my Aunt Brenda, who's daughter Heather was getting married. I love that dress, and I've worn it many, many times. both the shape and the colour are really nice. My Mom made it!

So that's my photo essay of me. I'm not sure what will be L yet, but I'll figure it out.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World's Best Sockpal

I have the world's best sockpal. No question. I got 2 pairs of socks (2! 2!) and 70% Cocoa German chocolate. I know my wonderful sock pal's name...but it's on the envelope, which is on the bookcase, which is far away from the couch where I am prostrate with pain from a nerve they nicked during an injection. Therefore pictures and more specific thanks will have to wait for a little bit. The socks are gorgeous though, and one pair is made from Regia Canadian Colors! (they spell it the American way). My socks are still waiting to go out due to technical difficulties, but they are travelling with a horde of goodies to make up for lateness. It's silly, because the socks were done a week before they were supposed to be sent out. A combinatin of pay-cheque waiting, stat holidays, and boyfriend work schedules made it impossible for them to go out before now, but very soon.