Saturday, March 28, 2009

Artful accessories

Awhile back I made a promise to myself that I would not buy any more fabric until I managed to sew a couple of pieces from my fabric stash. Given the fact that I have accumulated.....hmmm... a couple of clear plastic bins of material it is a promise I better keep or I run the risk of becoming a pack rat. Mind you these are not notions....just material. I always buy something with the intention of making it into something specific. Well last week I paid a visit to Fabricville, downtown, as they were having one of their sales. I even have the discount savings card and thought that I would just see what was available. I was a good girl and did not entertain the thought of buying anymore fabric. But...... I did pick up a couple of accessories. I found these cute little "snippers" in the scissor section. I thought that they would be very good for clipping the
material when making buttonholes.

I really like the fine tips and they cut pretty well. An old sewing teacher of mine once told me that the scissors which I use for material should never be used to cut paper or they will dull the blades faster so I have other scissors for my material and a separate pair for cutting my paper patterns. Then I saw a colorul pair of Unique thimbles in a variety of colors and sizes. They are flexible and do not feel cumbersome like the metal ones. In the cart they went also.

Unfortunately my "sewing purchases" are not excusive to the fabric stores. I also tend to visit the local art store and since they carry a lot of scrapbooking items I also saw a pair of ribbons which I think that I would like to use as drawstring for pyjama bottoms.

My tatting project is coming along nicely. So far I have a square and a middle and somehow I will put the two together. Don't know how I will take care of that yet but so far this is all I have.

I still don't know what it will be but I am sure it will eventually make itself clear to me. Can't wait to find out. 'Till next time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bitten by the bug......

The tatting one that is, not the creepy crawler kind. Last week I went to "Dressmakers" on St. Catherine Street (Montreal) and all the way in the back against the right hand wall I found a beautiful DMC no. 5 thread in a scrumptious blue color. I am very much attracted to color, whether it is a muted tone or a bright vibrant one it never fails to bring out an emotion in me. I always tend to pick color which reflects the mood I am in. I guess I must have been in an uplifted and optimistic kind of mood that particular day because this color reminds me of lazy summer days. It is somewhere in the middle between cerulean and azure and conjures up images of a Meditteranean ocean and summer skies. It is actually a medium blue and not a washed out tone which the picture may, unfortunately, lead you to believe. I am not a very good (quite horrible actually) photographer and I apologize for the quality of the picture.

First of all one of my main passions is sewing. Believe it or not, that is mainly what led me to tatting. I love lace and I was searching for a way to embelish some of my sewn articles of clothing. My sister crochets (beautifully). She was taught to crochet one summer by my great- aunt while we were visiting Crete. She took to it like a fish to water but I on the other hand can not crochet to save my life. I am horrible at it. So about 2 years ago I got it into my head that I just had to learn how to make lace. I tried to crochet but it wasn't meant to be. I bought books, begged my sister for lessons and got irritated when the results came out too tight or too loose. Something was just not right. I shelved the books, the crochet hook and yarn and forgot about it until I discovered tatting. My first attempt was with a needle and it was amazing what can be created with only one needle! I fell in love with it instantaneously. From then on I have created lace edgings for scarves. I thought that this would be an embelishment as well until something inside me was screaming that it should be turned into a square motif. So here it is slowly turning into a square..... I don't have an inkling as to what the inside will look like or how it will look finished but I guess that is the excitement of the adventure. Not knowing how it will eventually turn out. Promise to post when I have more to show. 'Till next time. Au revoir......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thinking of spring........

On the days when I feel sad and the winter blues get to me I think of these images and it reminds me that Spring is right around the corner. Today we are experiencing 8 degree celsius weather!!!! Just a couple of days ago it was -10 so you could only imagine how excited I am that the weather is warming up. I relish the idea of putting away all the boots, scarves and pullovers. Give me my shorts and flip-flops any day. We are almost there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uncomplicated reading

Last night I was curled up with a really good book, "Interpreter of the Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri and it led me to thinking about reviewing some other books which I have read lately and which ones were actually worth reading and others I wouldn't want anyone else to waste time on because they weren't that great. So here goes.....

"Middlesex" by Jefferey Eugenides. One of the truly amazing books which I read a couple of months ago. This is a page turner. It is a book that you would love to read in one sitting because it is difficult to put down. It chronicles the story of a Greek-American immigrant family from their roots in Smyrna (1920's) to their life in Detroit (1960's). It is narrated through the eyes of Calliope Stephanides and details her life and experiences intertwined with those of her parents' and grandparents'. I don't want to give anything away because there are a lot of twists and turns and many shockers in this book. I have passed it on three times and there is a 4th person in the wings who is waiting for it. My goodness, my brother read it and he only reads user guide manuals. 10/10.

"A Complicated Kindness" by Miriam Toews. This book was a huge disappointment for me. I picked it up on the advice of people on the web who said it was a good book. It also won the Governor General's Award and that fired up my interest and I purchased it. It centers around Nomi Nickel, a teenager with angst, growing up in a strict Mennonite community, where she is trying to come to terms with issues a young girl faces. Her mother's brother is head of their church and there are restrictions placed on her and her family. This book was not my cup of tea. For all of you out there who require plot twists and surprises, this is not for you either. The tone throughout this book is one of heavy sedation. The dialogue is so boring that you feel that they are discussing the weather throughout the entire book. Even when certain events do take place which are milestones in a young girl's life you don't take notice because they are written in such a mundane fashion that with frustration you have to turn back and reread. Unfortunately I could not get the time, which was lost reading this book, back and therefore do not recommend it. Still could not understand how it won a GG award. 3.5/10

"The Birth House" by Ami McKay. This book centers around the main character, Dora Rare who happens to be the first girl after five generations of men in the Rare household. The book starts off with her apprenticeship to Ms. Marie Babineau who happens to be the only midwife in the poor Nova Scotian fishing village. Ms. Babineau passes down to Dora a slew of information on midwifery including a book on an array of herbs and recipes which cure many ailments, (e.g. croup, lack of menstruation) etc..... With the arrival of a Dr. Gilbert Thomas on the scene, a doctor who wants to open up a birthing hospital, the traditional childbearing practices of the women in the small village are challenged and along with a series of plot twists this is an intresting read. It is a little bit predictable though at times and certain issues fall too perfectly in place. I do recommend it but it is not an extraordinary book. Light read. 6.5/10

I have picked up so many books at Indigo that I wish to read that my list is forever growing. Hoping this small review will be a help to some. 'Til next time. Happy reading......

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First time for everything......

This is my first time posting in blogville. I am very excited, thrilled and hesitant all at the same time. Excited in that I am putting myself out there in a non-tangible world with thoughts and ideas that I hope may be meaningful to others. Thrilled to take the chance as I have never done anything like this before and hesitant because others may not find what I have to say interesting. I love reading many different blogs on the net which make reference to painting/drawing, sewing, stamping, beading, tatting, etc..... I could go on forever. I love the excitement that comes with starting a new project but have to force myself to follow through and actually "finish" what I've started. I have some family members already reminding me that I have not started a particular painting which I promised to them not too long ago. Y'know who you are!!!! I have too many ideas flitting through my mind at the same time but not enough hours in the day with which to attempt to execute them.

Unfortunately the number of friends I have which would be considered "artsies" is next to nil and therefore I am looking forward to having dialogue with people interested or avidly pursuing art in some shape or form.