"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “sewing

Stay Tuned- Sock Monkey Under Construction

Magic  turning a pair of red heeled worksocks into a Sock Monkey

Note: have to work on the stuffing so it isn’t lumpy

To Do: hand sewing and face embroidery by daylight tomorrow.

 

 

 

 


Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday may evoke nostalgia


Each Color Has a Number

Embroidery Floss. 

You can see the faded  old labels and the new labels with the bar codes. 

I’m smocking again. Each color has a Number

There are 454 solid colors in this brand. 

Thought I’d organize them in the little plastic box with bobbins, labeling each number in the corresponding color 

Not exactly sure why-


An old musical box pillow I made when Laura was small. You know the tune it plays. 


Meet Malka- A Stitch in Dye

Austin, Texas is noted for live music and creative artists.

And stunning hand-dyed, uniquely-patterned fabrics, by Malka Dubrawsky. Touring her studio, I was reminded of my color theory class, studying Josef Albers.

In between wedding and celebrations, Colleen, who hails from Nova Scotia, made arrangements to meet Malka at her studio, A Stitch in Dye.

Colleen is an avid quilter and follows Malka’s blog.

The four of us piled in Joanne’s car and her son Chris, ferried us to A Stitch in Dye where Malka welcomed us and generously gave a tour of her studio.

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Malka Dubrawsky – Fiber Artist

26074255430_c07b8adf97_kMalka explained the dye process. We learned about the addition of soda ash.

Lengths of fabric soak in dye. Wax in electric frying pans for making the designs on the fabric

 

26321167766_3db3fc7cff_kWax design drying, ready for a dye bath

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Button jar

25741790244_61ef3cd42e_kJoanne spotted these gloves on a shelf.  Thanks J.

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Custom designs available and international shipping! Click for her Etsy Store to see samples of her vibrant hand dyed fabrics. She has written two books.

Color Your Cloth: A Quilter’s Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric and Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration.

26347120015_67c1d4d60d_oLeft Handed Appliqué Scissors.

26321137986_7e4f2f7d75_kStacks of fabric to be sewn into quilt designs

26074218620_1663b13e6f_kThanks for a wonderful tour.  Malka saw us out to the parking lot.

Glad Colleen had such a cool connection in Austin.   The fabrics she bought were richly colored and fabulous designs. Can’t wait to see your quilt creation, Colleen. Send photos for upcoming blog post!


Sock Monkey Brothers

It’s been awhile since I’ve stitched up a sock monkey. The classic.

One for new baby grandson in Ohio and one for a friend of my sister in New York City.  The pairs of socks have been in the house a long time. Once I stitched on the faces, they seem to look at me and smile.

Both Anna and Jack have set up a crew of sock monkeys, told them to smile and photographed them. This evening I placed the newly completed monkeys on the couch in my living room. And took their picture

Very cooperative!

One of the smiles needs a bit of straightening out, I see upon examining the image.  Ooops.

And yes, my sister and I visited the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois when we were visiting relatives.  (The relatives live in Rockford, not the museum)

 

 

sock monkey duoSock monkey duo, going in different directions, more than 500 miles apart.

 

Here are some old sock monkey photos from previous blogs.

When I was a kid (c. 1958)my family lived in the city of Newark NJ. there was a Youth Consultation Service behind our house on Broad Street.  At least a dozen girls lived there and each girl had a handmade sock monkey.  My mom thought sock monkeys weren’t appealing but I always wanted one. Some people think they are ugly, others think they’re cute. These two have a bit of scrap flannel from the sock monkey pillowcases I stitched for the grandchildren for Christmas.  Going with a theme, here. That will be another post.

I don’t think I owned one until I stitched on in 1976.

The first sock monkey I ever made was for my son Mark (39),father to the grandchildren in the photos above. He name it the Doonie Monkey and it was stuffed with old stockings.  I use fiberfill now. And for some unknown reason, I never added a tail on his monkey.  He resides with the grandchildren in Ohio, too.
I’ve make pink and blue and purple monkeys but my favorite is the classic.

If you would like to make a sock monkey, there’s a terrific youtube tutorial by Professor Pincushion on how to make the classic monkey. I don’t add the ears or buttons on mine.


Weekly Photo Challenge: intricate

Intricate.   Complicated or detailed.  

 

 

Photographed by iPhone specifically for the challenge


Buying Buttons in New York City and Learning of Rumi

This is the story of my seeking special buttons for grandbaby knitting projects, (completed and on the needles) while visiting NYC over Spring break.

My sister guided me to the button store I’d found online.

Oh no, bad news.

We got to the address and there was paper covering the windows and the security grill was down-

CLOSED- 

I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt.

Fortunately,  a man on the sidewalk  saw us staring at the storefront in disbelief and he pointed to the place next door.

Lou Lou Buttons had moved just one number over, due to a malfunction of errant sprinklers and being flooded out. Lou Lou Buttons store Phew!

Turned out it was the store owner, Ross, who invited us into the button store. And I found so many interesting buttons. They are from all over the world, Japan, France…you name it!

He said every Broadway show and  opera production has come to his store to buy buttons for costumes.

I believe it! Some people replace every button on garments they purchase, to improve and upgrade the look.

Here are the buttons I bought

and here is the owner Ross, photographed by my sister Mary. I was in the photo but the image looks better with myself cropped out! IMG_8442     Lou Lou ButtonsI took this one with more buttons in the background to give you the idea of the inventory.

When I asked about the origin of the store name Lou Lou Buttons, turns out Lou Lou is like the Boogeyman, so when a child is called in from playing outside the mother might say, “Come in now, or Lou Lou’s going to get you.”

We heard Ross tell The story of the merchant to whom the parrot gave a message for the parrots of India on the occasion of his going (thither) to trade. by the Persian poet Rumi.  It’s here if you don’t know it. Be sure to scroll down for the translation in English.

It was a day when the universe rhymed- the button store still there (just one door to the lef) cute buttons for the baby sweaters and my sister and I were enthralled as we listened to the wonderful story by Rumi. 

It’s said he’s “the best selling poet in the United States.”

Buying buttons and hearing Ross tell Rumi’s story of the parrot was a New York City experience.

We left his store with a lot more than just buttons.


3.14.15 9:26:53 Celebrating Special Pi Day at School

 

A very special Pi Day.  Once in a century.  Tomorrow, 3.14.15 is it.    Get ready!

Celebrated at school today. Spearheaded by Mrs. Mihalic.  Creating some spirit!

There were numbers posted all around the hallways on the 800 level to who-knows-what place…..some cool art which I didn’t get to photograph yet.

Eat'n Park Pi Day Cookies

And my neighbor across the hall…. I went in this morning and said “Hey, where’s your Pi shirt?” and then she turned around and showed me!

The librarian, wearing the machine stitched embroidery shirt her Mother, J.E., created espcially for her.Pi Day Shirt Machine Stitched`

Mrs. Mihalic, math teacher, created a wildly spirited event, complete with Pi Day cookies she special ordered from Eat’n Park 

Eat 'n Park Pi Day Cookie

 

 

 

cutting slices of pie

 

In the cafeteria there was a game where students could win a slice of pie. (Similar to a Cake Walk)

 

pies

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Posting this one so you can see how you had to land on a certain number when the music stopped to win a slice of pie.

pi day shirt
Photographed by Steve after school Friday the 13th. I’m wearing one of the shirts Mrs. Mihalic created.

 

 

 

 

IMG_9395A different shirt worn by one of my  photography students.Everyone was getting in on the festivities.


Preparing Socks for Monkeys and the Front Porch Swing

The girls and I went to Aunt Lala’s today.  Uncle James was at work.

Aunt Lala did the girls hair.

Then we hung out with Penny the Golden Doodle on the front porch and the girls loved the porch swing.

Anna and Penny traded bandanas and headbands.  We had a relaxing summer afternoon.

Trying to not think about my return to school on Tuesday.

 

Aunt Lala's front porch

Aunt Lala’s front porch

 

porch swing and dog

 

 

 

Penny wearing Anna's headband

Penny wearing Anna’s headband

 

 

 

Socks ready to make into monkeys

Socks ready to make into monkeys

I used Laura’s sewing machine to stitch up the legs, arms and tails and now the two monkeys for Anna and her friend are ready to turn, stuff and stitch by hand.   The socks were on Clearance for 93 cents at Target last year.  I bought way too many thinking I would make a ton of monkeys.


A Repurposed Purse as a Camera Bag

(First of all I just reread the Psychology Today article on 8 Tips to Know if You’re Being Boring  by Gretchen Rubin of Happiness Project Blog )  but maybe someone has an old purse they can repurpose to hold a camera………………

What are they called in your part of the world? purse, handbag, pocketbook, tote, shoulder bag, carry-all ?

My DIL sent me a ton of links from ETSY and other places before Christmas as she knew I was looking for a cross body strap camera bag that didn’t look like a camera bag.

And there were some nice ones she found. (thanks Erika)

Her mother sent me an article with a link to camera bags created with women in mind and they were nice, too. (thanks Marlene)

But nothing seemed just right and at an affordable price.  The one I liked the best was about $325 so think again.

I have a big black padded and compartmentalized wheely backpack but it is just enormous and conspicuous.  Barely fits into the overhead on a plane, too.

This old slouchy  gray leather purse had the  lining split around the top.  I wasn’t using it as a purse anymore but the leather still seemed good.  I thought about relining it.  I thought about it so much and it seemed so tedious, I never did it!

I should have taken a before shot.  Didn’t think about photographing it until it was all stitched up!

At the local craft/fabric store I found the answer and I came right home and slipped this extra thick batting into the purse between the ripped lining and bag and then I stitched up the lining around the top with strong black thread.

And now I have a padded camera bag.  There is a zipper pocket inside which will hold camera cards or batteries nicely and there is room for a flash or an extra lens. And a top zipper is always a plus, which this bag has already.   A friend suggested treating the bag with mink oil to help moisturize the leather. It is not slouchy anymore, that’s for sure.

 

 

purse to camera bag 1

Now it stands up instead of slouches.  Grandson Michael tested it as a makeshift pillow as we sat in the bleachers, too.

I don’t know what brand the purse is originally, it has elephants all over the lining and says it was

Made in Italy.

 

purse to camera bag 2