Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Cushy

I mentioned Friday that we'd be scattering the ashes of Colorado Alternadad's wife on Saturday morning, which we did. It was a beautiful day, her daughters were grateful and I...

I had a bad reaction.

I'm not sure if it was the lingering result of holding someone's ashy remains in your hands (and, in fact, getting some on your shoe due to a hole in the plastic bag), or just all the memories of her rapid decline getting stirred up, but I was very down-in-the-dumpy Saturday night. I couldn't sleep... I just kept picturing her pacing back and forth, and later how she looked in the nursing home. The thing that stuck out...

Her dirty hair.

She was such a neat person when she was lucid, and seeing her with dirty hair, not filthy but definitely with that particular smell of being unwashed, kind of made it hit home that she was no longer herself anymore.

Saturday was the last, final, good-and-all end to that misery-laden period, and I'm happy for her and it was a positive thing (she now has a lovely natural rock outcropping out on a hillside in the mountains, her picture laminated and tucked away inside), but at the same time I think I exorcised the last of my sadness for her afterward, and it affected me more than I was expecting it to.

I take comfort knowing she's now a part of this:

Click to see it bigger... it's hard to believe it's a cell phone photo!

That's the view from her memorial. She would love it.

Thankfully I had plenty of distraction Saturday afternoon and evening to help keep my mind off things, although as I have discovered...

I am not a seamstress.

Well, I do alright but I have discovered that while others may be able to wing it, I definitely need a pattern if I'm going to end up with something that passes for not-sewn-by-a-monkey.

This weekend (amongst other things) I made my own pattern, basing it on TR's awesome black wool coat that I love.

"Easy!" thought I. "It's just a bunch of straight lines!"


The end result isn't *that* bad, but I definitely zigged when I should have zagged in a few spots. I used a large bit of fabric that had been lurking in my fabric stash, one of those shimmery dual-color satiny bits where when it moves it changes color - pretty cool stuff actually. This particular swath is coppery orange with a green undertone, and reminds me of what copper looks like with a light patina.

The shell itself was fairly easy, just a few pieces that I modified slightly to give a more flared effect on the bottom edge. I managed to get one sleeve on before going to meet TR on Sunday for some textile shopping (and can I just tell you it delights me to no end that he likes playing fabric with me?). It fit just okay, but he actually preferred the sleeveless side.

Thank GOD. I so did not want to sew on that other sleeve!

And so now I'm just tweaking it, finishing the raw edges as well as I can, adding a collar that isn't too weird looking... but really I think the color will distract everyone who sees it from the poor hemming job. It's like fashion camouflage!

I also give myself a bit of credit for creating a pattern based on a coat that was already put together... deconstructing a garment to make a pattern is easy, but doing it while it's still constructed?! That takes some...

Well I'd say skill, but I think I'll call it luck.

Sunday was not as productive in the sewing department, since I hadn't slept much Saturday night between the sewing and the ruminating.

The Kid was feeling pretty gross - headache, fatigue, etc. - so she skipped derby practice, but I still had an appointment with Denver Fabrics to attend to with TR, so I headed down to Denver and let her sleep.

We found some absolutely awesome faux fur that is so soft I just want to wrap up in it - it will be a robe - and some equally fantastic faux silk (or who knows - it could be real!) in a deep magenta, it's backing satin a rich blue that will actually be the outside of the other robe I'm making. Flowy and/or warm clothing is nice to have at Burning Man, and I volunteered to get TR set with a couple of pieces for this year.

Next year will be sheepskin. We're going to have to start in January though, I think, because it's going to take AGES! The good news is that The Internet Provides, and I have found many tips and tricks for working with sheepskin that will save me lots of Craft Angst later on.

After picking up an ungodly amount of fabric and notions, we headed to Ted's for an absolutely delicious dinner... a full turkey dinner for me (with all the trimmings) and a fantastic burger for him, plus coke with crushed ice which, as TR put it, was like summer in a glass.


After dinner we drove around to spy on some houses TR's been eyeballing online. Anyone who's bought a house knows that the pictures on the listings often don't show the true nature of the home or its surroundings, like the adorable 1920's house I was so enamored of until I saw a train track literally runs right down the middle of the street, or the flawless Craftsman home TR found which is right next to a 7-Eleven on a ridiculously busy street.

This was never more true than with the fantastic mid-century modern gem he found... which is surrounded by a deeply horrible neighborhood full of meth labs (one can only assume). One's first home experience shouldn't be fraught with danger and ATF agents.

Not a big fat lie, however, were the couple of houses he found in Arapahoe Acres, an historic district full of houses built between 1949 and 1957. They are all beautiful, and the one he likes could be an unbelievable deal if it's not hiding some sort of fatal flaw.

We watched a lovely sunset while driving around, and discovered another neighborhood that's definitely worth looking into. He's really got a pretty clear idea of what he wants, but the question remains... where to find it?

Back home, The Kid seemed to be feeling better after some food and additional sleep. In fact she slept all night, despite having slept all day! There was no fever, no nausea, nothing at all to demonstrate illness, which means...



Happy Monday/Tuesday Amalgam! :)

Tonight it's me and some satiny blue material and the sewing machine.

Wish me luck with that! I want it to look fantastic.

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