Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ukrainian wise women and TAST

First, some replies to your comments:
Rho, thank you for your book suggestion, I've just got a copy of "The Secret" and will be listening to it in the near future. BTW, audiobooks are great! I can put them on and knit or embroider, or do whatever I want/need to do while listening to something interesting, yikes! ^^
Lobstah, I was also afraid that without a specific pattern I will ruin the overall picture with senseless stitches here and there but to my surprise, when I sit at the table and look at my panels I somehow know what to do next, what stitches to use, what colours, and it all composes a fairly consistent picture (at least I think so! *^v^*).
Corina, thank you for your sweet comment about my embroidery, I've been to your blog and I found many beautiful projects there, it's a shame I cannot speak Romanian...
Kendra, it's not that complicated as it sounds, I hope next time warping and weaving will be easier, maybe I just went straight into the deep water with the linnen warp, I should have started with wool instead. But I'm not discouraged at all and next weaving session is coming (I hurt my finger and could try again on Monday morning).

On Monday evening we went to watch a special movie - the document presenting old Ukrainian customs connected with several holidays: laments over the grave and feasting with the dead, Kust - the festival of Life, the holy tree, Rusalki - the festival of the dead wandering spirits, and in all of these customs the main part played beautiful songs, with traditional lyrics and melodies, sung a capella by the old women. Sad thing is that the only ones interested in preserving those customs are old women, because all the young ones leave their villages as quickly as possible and move to towns, so they change their lives completely and forget about their traditions.

But this movie was also great because I could see the traditional Ukrainian embroidered outfits - blouses, skirts and aprons, snowwhite with colourful flowers, all cross-stitched.

And because there are no such things as coincidences, this week stitch in the TAST is the very cross stitch itself! *^v^*

I've been having a love affair with this stitch for a long time now and I've done many projects in this technique, like pictures (my favourite is the Four Seasons cycle) or cushion covers with flowers on them. I also tried the traditional Ukrainian motives, like these bands on the photo, I haven't decided what to do with them yet.

I thought this stitch had no secrets for me, but I've never tried it in any free-hand embroidery, and when I looked up cross stitch family in Susan's stitch dictionary I found something interesting: namely the Rice stitch. I've achieved the similar result with Feather stitch or Cretan stitch, but it also looks interesting in this stitch and I'll give it a go soon.

My three panels are getting very crowded with motives and stitches, but I feel that this should be the case. I believe I need another week or so to finish them, and then I'll proceed to the next embroidery project (I have two in mind already, but I really want to make them one by one! ^^) .

(More photos on my Flickr).

And here are two books that I've been given be my Grandmother, showing everything she knew about embroidery (just look at them, they were used millions of times and the first one is in pieces, although not a single page is missing! ^^): the first one is about many types of embroidery, with individual stitches and some small patterns; the second one teaches a beautiful type of embroidery from the region of Poland called Kaszuby (close to the Baltic sea) - characteristics are: it's done on the grey linnen with only a few colours - black, two shades of red, blue, green and yellow, and white, and the motives are the flowers.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Oh, my!... Oh, my!...

Is warping an 80 cm wide Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom so difficult or is it just me who cannot do it properly?
Or maybe it is the linnen thread that I was desperately trying to warp and got bad results?

First, we did it according to the Ashford instructions. Experiment failed.
(it was fun at the beginning, very easy to perform, especially with the second person helping, but we ended up with totally different tensions throughout the whole width...).

Then I unwound everything, tied one end stick to the headboard of our bed, pushed the loom as far as I could and stretched the warp, and pulled and tied EACH pair of threads SEPARATELY (a 30 threads per 10 cm heddle, 240 threads...).
Experiment partly failed too, because when I stretched the tenth pair of threads, the first pair started to hang down miserably, so I had to adjust them again.
I also had two types of a warp linnen threads: the white ones were very smooth hence slippery and stiff, the grey ones were very coarse and they tended to stretch a bit but they stayed stretched and were not coming back to their previous position. Which didn't help at all...

At 22:19 I wound up the warp onto the back roller and blocked the whole construction - there were still threads that needed pulling up, but I decided to leave it for Sunday, phew...

Early afternoon, after a good nutricious breakfast (pancakes with Nutella and bananas, and strawberry jam, and sugar - my favourite option, respectively ^^) I started with pulling up all the hanging threads and then I sat at the living room table to start weaving. (BTW, this is the place where I do all my crafts plus this is our dining table, too ^^). Robert attached the loom to the table with two blue plastic belts, because it didn't want to stay in one place when I moved the heddle.

I took some wool in two colours and kept on weaving, struggling with the warp threads as they didn't want to cooperate smoothly and some of them still kept hanging down whereas, for a change, some of them (the ones on the edges) were suddenly very tight. I must admit I definitely made a mistake here because when I was winding the warp up I put under them a piece of paper to prevent threads from catching up on each other, and I cut the paper a bit too small, so the outside threads on both sides were wound without a paper - this resulted in a tighter tension on the edges of the loom. So, after I woven about 20 cm, I had to cut off the edge threads to be able to tighten the middle threads. Well, it was the first trial weaving anyway.

My piece of fabric got narrower at this point, but I kept going and it soon turned out that my weft tension on the edges of the fabric was too big. The final result was a rather lacy, loose structure fabric, irregular in shape and colour scheme, but it was my first attempt at weaving on this loom. ^^ I don't know whether I can do anything with this piece, it's too loose to cut it and turn it into a bag or something, maybe it will stay as a memory of my first weaving. *^v^*

Tomorrow I'm going to try the woollen warp, I presume it will be more elastic and in this way easier to warp evenly. At least I hope so! ^^

Friday, February 23, 2007

Creative thoughts

Yesterday, while continuing my embroidery project, I listened to the audiobook by Wayne Dyer "Creating Your Life With Your Thoughts" and something gave me a food for thought.

(apart from the fact that Mr. Dyer shouts at his listeners... I mean, not in an aggressive way, but his tone of voice is somehow disturbing, not a silky smooth voice like Sonia Choquette's voice I got to know from her audiobooks, btw, Sonia has also been a personal psychic advisor to Dr. Wayne Dyer ^^)

The general idea of Mr. Dyer's book is that our thoughts create the reality around us, and when we focus on good things - good things happen to us, and when we concentrate on bad things - we invite them into our lives. What we think about - expands. All the certainties and doubts equally.

Which I translated onto my life and my thoughts and all that has been happening to me up till now. How many times have I thought "Yes, I want to do it!", but then, in the next sentence I thought "Yeah, but... I'm maybe too old, it's inconvenient, I'm not skillful enough, it'll never be I wanted it to turn out, ect, ect...".

My biggest obstacle was the artificial idea put in my head throughout my childhood that it's not good to be openly happy and thankful for all the good things that were happening in my life, because it may cause the immediate turn of luck. If I'm too cheerful about my good relationship, my boyfriend will leave me. If I'm openly happy about the lottery winnings I'll loose the money in the near future. Don't tempt the Universe with your happiness because the Universe just waits for such silly people and changes their luck for worse.

From this idea comes the following behaviour: I say to my friend "Good luck at your exam!", and she immediately says "I'm not going to say thank you, because I don't want to jinx it!..." and runs away with a fear of being touched by the good wish which can bring ill-luck on her. Many people behave like that, and I used to do it a long time ago but then I started to fight this prejudice.

Why would the Universe (or God, or the High Spirit, however you want to call it) find the pleasure in making our lives miserable?...

I tend to favour the other concept, namely the one which says that the Universe answers our thoughts and intentions, and if we trully want to be happy, healthy and wealthy, it will come to us one day. But we have to clean our subconsciousness, getting rid of all the thoughts about the possibility of being jinxed, of not being good enough, not being able to achieve something, of being prejudiced, ect.
I'm not saying this is an easy process, it's like teaching an old dog new tricks and all, but it's definitely worth a try!


My TAST journey continues and I find more and more pleasure in making my pictures. ^^ They were just three blank pages last week (only with the black words on them), but as I look at them, each moment I have new ideas and add some elements here and there. I match the stitches, the colours and the whole pictures comes together. This weekend I'll be probably finishing the first panel and will be developing the second panel, of which I have a more or less clear picture in my head. The third one is still a mystery, although I started some elements on it.

I am trully amazed how easy it is for me to compose those pictures - up till now I've only embroidered drawn patterns or cross-stitch patterns, and now I let my imagination do the job! *^v^* I'll stick to pure embroidery in this first project but next time I'll try to be a bit more adventurous and add some patchwork, yikes!

As far as my sampler book, I thought about it and decided that I won't need a book binding skills for now, because I'll be doing the individual pages with stitches on them and I'll keep them in the plastic envelopes in an office binder. I want to have them in an alphabetical order so I may bind them into a book form later, when I have most of the pages with stitches ready.


Today I spent my day painting my Ashford loom with a wood stain, and then I got carried away and sanded and painted the wooden table form IKEA and two wooden stools... *^v^*

Now I'm waiting for my loom-in-many-parts to get dry and we'll be assembling it tonight, so first weaving trials tomorrow!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TAST contd

First things first, replies to my commentators from yesterday ^^:

Rho, my hair is dark red indeed, it was a black wig! *^v^* I sometimes wear wigs just for fun, or for pictures. I believe Polish for you sounds like, for example, Hungarian of Finnish for me - I'm totally lost with these two!

Kendra, it will be some time before these pieces are finished! ^^ But I'm very excited about this new concept and I put away other things for now, so I hope it won't be long before I can show you the final result. I think I should include the audio files with pronunciation of these words, it would make the pieces complete in a way. I'll think about it! *^v^*

Okay, yesterday I managed to embroider the first panel with the word "to create". For now I used the following stitches: herringbone, buttonhole, feather and fly, and I'll be adding the other stitches from the previous TAST weeks soon, as well as other simple stitches.

I am generally very excited, I totally forgot how great it is to sit with a needle in one hand and a piece of cloth in the other and 'paint' the picture with colourful threads! ^^ And, to be honest, I've never tasted the pleasure of freehand embroidery like the one I'm making right now, I always embroidered some picture, so I had to stick to the outlines and colours, not to mention the cross-stitching, where following the scheme is all that counts! Maybe that's why I'm a bit shy with adding any new elements to my panels (like aplique, ect), but I hope to warm up and do it at some stage! *^v^*

I already have more ideas for the next pieces (three at least), but I'm holding back because I don't want to stay with many WIPs. My first tryptych is my priority now, and anyway I've run out of a transfer paper which is neccessary for the next projects ^^, so for now I'll be a good girl and continue my first idea.

Robert carefully examined my embroidery last night (he was thinking about using those stitches to decorate our medieval clothing but I believe they were invented much later, apart from a buttonhole stitch), and asked whether I was making a sampler. I thought about it and the answer was "no, it's not a sampler", because I had in mind the traditional sampler, with neat rows of different stitches one after another but then it occurred to me that it is a sampler in some way. Which led me to the idea of making my own stitch sampler book with pieces of fabric and examples of the stitches with all their possible variations. I have some sheets of handmade paper which can be good for a base notebook and all I need is to learn bookbinding! Piece of cake! *^v^*

I found this very helpful site with video instructions for many stitches: Needle'n'Thread. If you are, like myself, the person who best learns not from a description but from watching the process itself, this is the place to go for stitch instructions! ^^

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I invented something I'm going to call Slowobrazy (Wordpictures) - they will consist of a painted word and the decorative manfestations of my crafts all around it. Last night I was working on the bases for my first three pieces that are going to be put together as a collection (on my livingroom wall, I hope! ^^). I chose words that made a very important sentence for me: tworzyc wlasnymi rekoma (which means: create with my own hands, wow, in English I would have to create five pieces, not three! *^v^*).

I cut out the rectangles of grey linnen (because grey linnen is very symbolic for me, it reminds me of the embroidered napkins and table cloths my Grandmother used to create), transfered the words on it with a transfer pencil and an iron, and painted them with a black fabric paint.

Now I'll be adding embroidery, probably aplique, quilting, and whatever more will come to my mind. And when I decide that it's time to stop and they are finished, I'll staple them onto the wooden frames.

I'm going to practice my TAST stitches on my wordpictures, and the list so far includes:
Week 1 Herringbone, week 2 Buttonhole, week 3 Detached chain stitch , week 4 Cretan stitch , week 5 Chevron stitch , week 6 Algerian eye stitch, week 7 Feather stitch, week 8 Fly stitch
which means I'm a bit behind the schedule but I hope to catch up quickly. *^v^*

I finished my I'm Blue... scarf and blocked it on Sunday - it's a kind of a first-Spring-chilly-morning-scarf. I love the colours of how the pattern turned out! ^^
The gauge and the needles are not that important, I've done three repeats of the pattern, it goes like that:
R1: k1, [yo, k3, ssk, k2tog, k3, yo, k1]
R2: p all

On Sunday I bought four big plastic containers and rearranged my yarn stash - now I have mohairs & co in one bin, wools in the other bin, acrylics and mixes in the third one and the tangle in the fourth one. I still have some tangled wool in the huge willow basket but at least I made some clean up and got rid of some yarn I'm never going to use. ^^

Also on Sunday I got a yarn gift from Robert's aunt: natural wool, very coarse but Robert already asked me to use it on my loom to try to make a piece of fabric out of it on a linnen warp. I love the egg-like shape of the yarn balls, they look like ostriches' eggs! ^^

Talking about the loom, I'm assembling it this Friday! Yes, I know it took me a long time to get to it but finally I have everything I need to do it and on Friday morning I'm going to paint all the parts with the beeswax paint and in the evening with Robert's help I'll be warping it for the first time, yikes! ^^

And here is how I look like when I play a model! *^v^*

On Sunday before the last we've been taking photos of some new corsets Robert sewn for Atelier Bizarre, and I and my friend Anna were the models (she didn't like how she looked at the pictures, so I'm only showing you my poses ^^).

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Do you know what I've been making today? *^v^*

My yesterday's post was a bit chaotic and didn't really end with any conclusion, so maybe I will add a few words to it today.

When I left my office job life offered me a new path, a choice, a clean page to write a new story of myself. And it was totally up to me what I would choose. And, as it often happens, I didn't know what to choose so I chose first thing that came into my hands. I was confused, scared, susceptible to suggestions, felt obliged to do something, panicked and grabbed whatever came to me first. I didn't sit and think about my life properly, about my dream, my path I wanted to follow.

If it happened to me right now I would definitely think about my choices more thoroughly, but today I'm several books and meditating sessions wiser. *^v^* I'm not saying that I am fully aware of what my life should be right now, but I'm not afraid to ask my inner self questions about my choices and listen carefully to the answers. Whoever's to blame for what I did or didn't do in the past 2,5 years is only me - my poor physical and mental health, lack of creative spirit, laziness, some kilograms more... ^^ And I'm glad that this year brought me some kind of awakening and that I took some steps to repair my body and soul. ^^

I found something useful on Laurie's blog last night that seems tempting:

Just put on the outfit that you would wear if you were actually as self-confident as you wished you were, then show up every day for the life you wish you were living, and act as if you were already comfortable in your own skin. The real thing will (hopefully) follow.

The game of pretending to be somebody in order to convince our mind that's a reality and, in fact, becoming one - I like it! I really hope that the real thing will follow!

I decided to take up a challenge and join TAST - Take A Stitch Tuesday.
I learned how to embroider when I was a little girl, but I never fully practiced many decorative stitches. And the funny things is that I don't know Polish names for most of the embroidery stitches because when my Grandmother taught me them, she didn't really felt the need to put the names in my head, the technique was more important. So I can perform them, but cannot name them! *^v^*
So now I'm going to recall, practice and learn (I hope) many new stitches and I even decided what I should do with them - I will create something un-useful (or a piece of art, ha! ^^). It will involve embroidery, but also patchwork, quilting, felting maybe, or crocheting? We'll see as it goes.
For now, I'll start my project and catch upon the stitches already practiced in the past 7 weeks.
If you need help with finding stitches, here is the excellent site: Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework

I haven't shared with you one news that came to us a couple of weeks ago - it seems that my naalbinding Wednesdays will remain only recreational for me, because we are not expecting to go on any historical weekends until probably September (including our planned trip to Sweden for Viking Market in June, *sigh*). Things went a bit complicated in Robert's work, his closest co-worker left the company and until there is another person fully qualified and trained, Robert will be the only person with the proper knowledge in some fields, which means he will be on full time duty for several months and he was told to say goodbye to any holidays or sick leaves for some time... This means a bit more money but on the other hand we'll be stuck in Warsaw, not even being able to go to our cottage for a barbecue night (it's about an hour travel from Warsaw and if anything happens with the servers Robert has to be able to get to a server room within 30 minutes...). It didn't fully got to me yet but I think it'll hurt more when there's some medieval market and all our friends will be preparing to go, well...

Now, let's talk about something more cheerful and let's go back to my first question: today I've been making special Polish cakes called faworki (which can be translated into favourites, and they really are one of my favourite sweets! ^^).

They are really easy to make, first you make the dough out of some egg yolks, flour, sour cream, a splash of spirit and sugar (it must be very light - if you want I can quote the exact recipe), then you spread it very thinly on the flat surface and cut a strips of it, make a slit in the middle of each strip and weave one end throught the slit (that's why they look like ribbons! ^^).
Then there is the most important part: you heat up a lot of pure lard in a pot and deepfry them piece by piece, making sure they are golden brown on each side and not burnt. They get puffed like that during the process of frying. ^^
The last step is just to put them for a moment on a kitchen towel to get rid of the excess fat and sprinkle them with sugar. Yummy! ^^

Here is a preview of my finished corsets (I hurt my hand a bit with this metal eyelet attaching thingy, auch!...)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Behind the picture Friday

I am all green and elegant in this photo.

I was supposed to go out today, do some grocery shopping and meet my mom for lunch, but unfortunately when I was almost one foot over the threshold I realised that Robert took my wallet with him to work (he was buying someting on Wednesday and forgot to give the wallet back to me), so without any money for shopping or a bus ticket I stayed at home and decided to devote my time to some craft activities and blogging!

All's well that ends well! *^v^*

(Although it means going shopping in the evening, when everybody's there after work... *sigh*)

Alice asked me yesterday how was my working-from-home routine. Well...
It's getting better than it was!

But it's not so easy to explain, so let's start from the beginning:

Okay, let's be honest, I'm not that cheerful and happy-all-the-time person as I may seem from the smiles on my photos and colourful clothing. All these are just signs of a one desperate woman trying to fight her depression. Now, it sounded very grim and serious, and it isn't THAT serious (I'm not on anti-depression medication, life is generally okay, ect) but the last 2,5 years after I left my 9-5 job wasn't easy. It was a different type of "difficult" than before.

First phase was the following: I don't have to get up tomorrow at 7 and go to the office. Which was good! ^^ But then it was very weird, because for some time I felt separated from my office desk. I get attached to things easily, and when you were coming to work everyday for 6 years and saw your desk, with all your stationary supplies, a computer, a board with important notes, ect, it was somehow reassuring and you felt safe in life. And then I became a woman without her desk. Of course I had my desk at home, but it was different, it wasn't THE desk - my workplace.

Second phase started when I finally agreed that it WASN'T strange not to be obliged to go the office everyday - I felt free, creative, inspired by many things that surrounded me, I redecorated our flat, we payed our debts, got married, and I generally was a happy housewife with crafty hobbies. *^v^*

But then one day my best friend Anna, Robert and myself gathered in our living room and talked about the posibility to open a shop. And it all seemed reasonable, with setting up a business, taking some loans, buying and making stuff to sell. We agreed on main issues, opened a shop, had it for six months, then closed the 'real' shop and stayed only in the virtual reality. (more about it here)

I've been thinking about our shop many times and it often ocurred to me that it wasn't my dream to have it. No. It was Anna's dream and Robert's dream. And Robert couldn't just leave his 9 to 5 job and throw himself into this new risky business, so I stood in his place. Why did I agree on it even when I wasn't convinced that it was what I wanted?
I knew I'll be a crap behind the counter (which turned out to be 100% true) because I am a loner, I don't need a lot of company and I'm scared of meeting many new people, being nice to them when I have to, ect.
I never considered gothic style as MY style, I liked many styles, different costumes, and I suffered when I had to dress accordingly while being in our shop, when I felt like wearing pink t-shirt with green trousers and red shoes.
~ I could sew, I had some costume ideas.
~ I could be Robert's 'representative' in our shop, when he was in the office, so I could try and realize his dream for him.
~ I felt guilty. I felt that I don't bring any money to our piggy bank, so I think I felt obliged to take this task upon me and be useful and productive.
~ Maybe I wanted to prove something to my family, or to myself? That I am worth something, that I can make living in other way than just 9 to 5 job?

Then time passed and we carried on somehow, our shop had its ups and downs, and it's been over two years now since we opened this business (in the meantime I started to make things and sell them through some online galleries). We even thought about giving it time till the end of 2006 and then closing it down (the income hardly covered the accountant's and insurance expenses), but then we decided to try a bit longer. It could fly really high, I think, with somebody who is enthusiastic about this type of merchandise, with a person devoted to gothic fashion, determined to carry on irrespective of a small Polish gothic scene hence few buyers.
But am I that person? I'm not sure. I can see that Robert is, but again one of us has to bring regular income each month... I may have some ideas for merchandise but when it comes to producing it - drawing patterns, cutting the fabric, sewing, ect, I find millions other things to do and postpone it as long as I can. What does it say about my attitude to MY shop when I would even vacuum the whole flat or clean the dishes than sit at the sewing machine?...

I don't know what's been happening to me for all this time. Is it just me being lazy or is it really not my place, not my dream I am trying to live?

Whereas some time ago I found my crafty basis:
My mission is: to fully concentrate on fabric and yarns to find my own way of expressing my ideas with the use of fiber.
I'm not sure whether this rule applies to this business.

I also looked at the second point of my manifesto, which I wrote last September:
2. My on-line gothic shop should be my prior concern and first of all I'll be concentrating on products for this shop - sewn & knitted, I may add some jewelery, but only if the first two product types have been supplied;

Well, of course it should be, if I wanted it to be successful and bring some money, but it wasn't. I'm afraid it never was a priority. I've been trying to live somebody else's dream, and even so I've been scared to let it go because I haven't found my own dream yet. And I didn't want to disappoint Robert's hopes he put into this shop. I'm still not ready to let it go because I would feel I wasted those two years of hard work of others, some fame our shop gained over this time, opportunities that still maybe lie in there for me.


Let's go back to the sentence that started this long train of thoughts:
It's getting better than it was!
Frankly speaking, I find more and more pleasure in making things for OUR shop. This weekend I'm going to add new stuff - 8 Elisabethan corsets, and I've already planned to make new models next week out of different fabrics. I have ideas! I dug out my old WIPs and will be finishing them in the next few days. I find pleasure in customers' mails with questions about some products that are not available at the moment. I found my way of working - I go to my living room (I don't have a studio unfortunately) and sit at the table with a sewing machine on it in SILENCE. I used to work there with a tv on or some music in the background but it just distracted me from what I was doing.

Something is changing in me so I change things around me. Maybe it's my homeopatic medicine that I take for strengthtening my immunity system? (I found out that this medicine is also given to patients with a depression...) *^v^*

To finish off with some knitting, here is the first photo of my "I'm Blue..." scarf.
Yarn: from my stash without labels but very soft,
Needles: bamboo 4,5 mm,
Pattern: my own (trials&error method! ^^), I'll post it when it's finished.

Please disregard mudprints on the windowsill, it's our cat's... ^^

Thursday, February 15, 2007

WIP Thursday

Sewing Mojo seems to be back with me (finally!...) so I've been making some new corsets for my Atelier lately. Today eight Elisabethan corsets are waiting for me to supply them with metal eyelets, which is going to be quite a challenge, because it's a hard work, I tell you!... (Better photos soon!)
And for tomorrow I'm planning an update in my shop, so please keep your fingers crossed for many happy customers, so I could have money for a new batch of beautiful yarn! *^v^*

Can you guess what it is in the second photo? ^^
For now I can tell you that it's something for myself (not for sale), wearing this I'll be feeling like a Queen, it's been cut out about half a year ago and then left in the WIPs bag, on the very bottom...
All should be revealed soon! *^v^*

As far as knitting, I did some progress on Morning Surf scarf, no progress on Emelia (I just don't feel like knitting Emelia nowadays...) and last night I did some planning on using my stashed blue yarn - I'd like to knit a wavy scarf and I believe after several trials I got the right pattern and will start knitting it tonight. ^^ (I tried my new bamboo needles and I love them - they are smooth and very light, compared to the metal needles!)

Monday, February 12, 2007


My weekend outfits: Saturday trip to a craft supplies wholesaler and dinner at Robert's Mom's, and Sunday - visit to my best friend Anna's where we took some photos of the new corsets Robert sewn for our gothic shop (he planned a whole haute couture line, made three for now and one went to Anna ^^).

On Saturday, as I mentioned, I've been doing some shopping at a craft supplies wholesaler, and among other things I bought these incredibly cheap knitting needles in the following sizes (I'm so going back there for more - 50 cents for dpns, about 80 cents for straight ones! Especially if the bamboo needles prove to be nice to work with. ^^):

And I've done some progress on my Morning Surf scarf for my mother's birthday (which is 25th March, so I still have go a lot of time). It's much lighter than my shawl (only single thread involved and 3 mm needles instead of 4 mm).

I've been also thinking about the next shawl for Beltane: I think I'll try either Print'o'the Wave by Eunny or Gerda Stole by Kendra but I have a problem with both patterns: they are charted and I don't like knitting from a chart... I may always rewrite them into the row-by-row instructions then. We'll see! ^^

And now I'm off to sewing - I'm also making corsets for Atelier this week! ^^

Friday, February 09, 2007

Somebody stop her!

The crazy skirt maker attacks again!!!

I say 'again', because once in a while I suffer from a heavy skirtitis and nobody can do anything about it. *^v^*
Skirts are my favourite items to sew and I make a lot of them, some for sale (some of them will go on Etsy soon! ^^) and some for me.
Remember my 30-something shawls collection? ^^ My skirt collection looks like this:

These just some skirts I bought (there are many more...)

These are some skirts I made for myself in the past.

And here are my latest creations:
"Funky" - this used to be a pair of jeans I bought online that unfortunately didn't fit me... But they had a funky pockets on the thighs and zippered fronts of the bellbottom legs, so I turned them into a skirt that fits alright! The heart and the star are from some other jeans, and they are there to cover the meeting points of the former trousers and the inserted triangles.

"Folk gal" - can you believe that this skirt was just a table rug last week?... But I found it resting in a bin in a thrift store, rescued it for 4$ and turned into a skirt that reminds me a cross between a Peruvian sheep herder and a Polish folk dancer from Lowicz area. ^^ I added the hip part from the black thick cotton and a zipper. It's wool and it's very convenient for the current weather.

"Milkmaid" - it's Wallis and this was a real treasure find in a thrift store this Wednesday (I bought this beauty for only 3$!)! The only problem was that it was size 8 and I'm size 12... so I cut the upper waist part, removed the zipper, moved it down a bit, stitched the waist part again and voila!

"Little Rose" - this skirt was a dress once, but the top part was too small for me (anyway, there was something ugly about it...), so I unstitched it in the middle, added a zipper and sewn the black cotton waistband. I like it with a fluffy petticoat.

"Blue Meadow" - I bought the fabric for this skirt like 10 years ago... I had many plans for it, cut it out in different shapes, put it away several times and then just now I made a skirt out of it. ^^ It's an embroidered cotton, bought in a friendly fabric shop where the lady didn't add the VAT tax to the price so I got it really cheap. *^v^*

"Green fields" - I thrifted this fabric a year ago and made some bags out of it, and at that time I cut out parts for a skirt (for two skirts, to be precise, the othe one is still 'in the making' and will be for sale). It's printed cotton, with some natural colour lace.

This is silly, but still fun! ( found at Hanna's blog)
Put your name and word 'needs' into google search and list the results.
1. Joanna needs to go to see her loan manager at her bank (yes, I need to work on my loans...)
2. Joanna needs money (oh, that's SO true!)
3. Joanna Needs Tuning (my health definitely! ^^)
4. Joanna needs to postpone her upcoming album (that's a mystery to me, hm...)
5. Joanna needs to find herself (well, yes, I'm working on finding my true vocation in life)
6. Joanna Needs Love Too (of course!)
7. Joanna needs eyebrows and lashes (false lashes - yes please, eyebrows - no, thank you! ^^)
8. Joanna needs to be willing to make the first changes (true, again, it's connected with finding my true self)
9. Joanna needs intellectual stimulation and companionship (nice!)
10. Joanna needs some adult company (any company, I spend a lot of time alone at home)
Happy Friday, everyone! ^^