Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

It took a while, but I finally came around.  I’m officially sold on wearing dresses.  I’m not planning on replacing my whole wardrobe with them, but let’s say I now appreciate the femininity and ease that a dress offers.

When you are short on time and can’t decide on separates, a dress is simple solution.

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Unfortunately, I did not get to make all of those lovely dresses for the summer as I had planned, but I managed to squeeze out this just before “Fall” showed up.

Now that I”m all for wearing dresses, am I brave enough to bear them in the winter?

Now, for capes (Simplicity 5794), this one I made was purely for costuming purposes, but I’m kind of diggin’ the effortlessness a cape/cloak presents: Just throw it on! No fiddling with buttons, belts, or buckles..just one hook on the neck to encase your body in warmth.

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I added some trim to this basic cape to give it a little somethin’ somethin’.

I might consider making a fashion cape for this season.  If I do, I better get on it now, because it’s already cold.

-Nizzy

I was tagged!

I was tagged by the lovely D’nali for this creative musing, so here goes.

1.    What am I working on?

What am I NOT working on!?  I seriously have my hands in everything right now.  I knit/crochet, I’m making jewelry, I’m sewing for myself and learning to sew for others, I’m designing patterns, experimenting with fashion draping, I’m crafting soaps and other natural beauty products, I’m gardening, and playing with photography and photo manipulation.  There are so many other things that I haven’t named, because I am still trying to find out how I can incorporate them in my creative work.

2.    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My jewelry pieces are my creation.  I love a good knitting or sewing pattern, but I enjoy more working from those items as inspiration.  As easy as is duplicate another’s work piece by piece, it’s more enjoyable (and sometimes agonizing in a way) to try to come up with my own variations.  I really feel like I put my heart, soul, and energy into the things that I make.

3.    Why do I write/create what I do?

For pure enjoyment:  I love creating things, learning something new and refining my techniques.
For the challenge:  Creating relieves stress, but also challenges me at the same time.
For necessity:  I like natural products and like to know what goes into my beauty products.  I like a wardrobe that fits my body better than ready-to-wear.  I get to eat food that I grow!
To give to others:  I’ve become more open to the idea of sharing more of my creativity with other people.  It’s still a struggle, but I’m getting there.

4.    How does my writing/creating process work?

I’ve tried the process of long-term planning of what I want to work on, but that works out only so far in advance.  I usually have to feel what I’m working on.  If I’m inspired by a bead, or a piece of fabric, or an outfit, or a scent, I just go with it.  For me, inspiration is EVERYWHERE, from the smallest concept (a color, a shape, a bead) to the biggest theme (a subject, a season, a destination).  Once am idea pops into my head I need to see if I can get it out.    As much as I love being spontaneous,  I still need to keep in mind that planning is important.

I never know who to tag in these things.  If you stop by the blog and want to participate in this, please do it and let me know that you did so I can come read about your creative process.

Gardening has it’s ups…and downs

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There is something wrong with my tomatoes!

The one in the picture above looks pretty mild compared to some of the other beefsteak tomatoes.  Several of them have had really deep, dark, and dry-looking grooves on the tops and they also have holes in them, some small and some large.  However, the leaves are pretty much in tact.  I think it might be the case of a worm (tomato worm, horn worm, pin worm) which means I have to go out there and have a closer look.   This is the part that I DO NOT like about gardening.  Creepy crawlies?! And especially WORMS?!  Oh, dear!

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I was hoping I could snap a clearer picture, but I had to be fast before something landed on me.

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I’m also getting powdery mildew on the leaves of my squash plants.  The fruit itself is fine, but the leaves have this unpleasant look about them.  This condition has affected the zucchini (also infected by stem borer pests), the cucumber plant, and now the butternut squash.

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Plants get sick, too!  Looks like I need to find out the cure for these ailments.

- Nizzy

Back From a Little Blogcation!

Hello! Are you still out there?

Seems I took a little hiatus from the blog world! I’ve had mini creative moments here there, but mostly I spent this time wondering what happened to my creative mojo!

Right now, I’m motivated to continue working on my personal beauty products: soaps, lotions, butters, washes, scrubs, etc. I am having a lot of fun coming up with my own creations and/or modifying others. I used to buy large amounts of these products off the shelf, but I wanted to exercise a little more control over what goes into my products. And frankly, I just love the way natural soaps feel on my skin much better than some of the name brands.
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Last month, I mixed up simple batch of Tea Tree Oil Soap. I’m so ready to make a few more batches of soap before the weather changes.

Tea Tree oil has great medicinal properties, but smells so…medicinal. This soap however, doesn’t have a super strong scent. I can’t wait to use it!

-Nizzy

Tell ‘em Why You Mad, Son!

This is my second year for gardening. Last year was really successful! The green beans were delicious, the tomatoes were poppin’, and I had tons of jalapeno to freeze. It was work, but rewarding work, so I’m back at it again this year.

But those strawberries…

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A few weeks ago I noticed that the strawberry patch had quite a few flowers and little green berries budding. I got happy. Hey! More strawberries for me! Much more than the two that I ate last year.  I popped off a couple that were ripe and went on about my business.

Then the animals came.

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Red berries, Half ripened berries, tiny green berries, many of them GONE.  So I got me a piece of chicken wire and I wrapped that fruit up tight.

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Or so I thought. 

The next day even more berries were gone.  I don’t know if it’s the birds or the squirrels, or something else, but I’m mad now.  Those are MY berries. 

I reduced myself to eating a half-ripened berry this morning just to ensure that I got to it before the animals did.  Now, that’s desperation.  I’ve been back and forth several times with myself about on giving up on those berries.  Nu uh!  They can’t have ‘em.  Not today!

I’m plotting to get 1/4 in plastic fencing and I’m going to wrap that fruit up so tight that even I will struggle to get to them.  Anything to keep away those berry stealing creatures.

Thank goodness we don’t have deer!

 -Nizzy

 

With Just a Tweak, Something New Entirely

When is a scarf more than just a regular scarf?

When it has hood like capabilities!

A friend and I tossed around this idea at work one day and I couldn’t bear to leave this challenge untouched.  It was simple, really.  Maybe you don’t want to don a hat on those cold winter days , but want to keep the cold wind off of your ears.  We wanted a scarf that you could wear over your head without it actually having a hood nor being as wide as a wrap. 

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What do you call that a HARF? A SCOOD?  Okay, none of those names work. 

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Thankfully she got a picture of it in action and was kind enough to let me share.   For sure, I will make one for myself on the next go round, but I’m going to need a lot more yarn if I want to cover the fro!

-Nizzy

Fashion Draping Class

You don’t know how much I looked forward to my Wednesday Draping class.  At the tail end of class, my place of work got a little crazy: lots of happenings, rumors flying about, untruths, finger-pointing, lots of confused, angry people walking about. To be able to throw myself into this project was a blessing. Home life and work life can’t be crazy at the same time or you will lose your mind! So I threw all my crazy energy into my final project. This was something that needed more than just two weeks for construction, but I made it work enough to have something to present in class.

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Patternmaking and Draping once intimidated me, but turns out it’s not as bad as I was thinking. I think I jumped in with the hardest thing I could think of at the time: hand pleating.  I think it’s a pretty decent start with something I haven’t tried before now.  I spent lots of late nights hand basting pleat lines and doing damage control for a couple of pattern mistakes.

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Overall the class was great. I learned a lot and met some great people who I will miss seeing weekly.  Next is to figure out how to apply all my knowledge to some new projects.

-Nizzy

This Is For You, Dear

A few weekends ago I got the chance to meet a really nice freelance knitter.   At some point in the chat over lunch among topics of what we do for a living, knitting, chicken factories, and yarn sources, I heard the words “husband” and “spinning” and “yarn” in the same sentence. And I got ideas. I came home and told my husband that I had something “cool” for him to do.

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Now I know I said I wasn’t going to go get all excited about what other people are doing just so I can torture myself by making my craft to do list LONGER, but a week later I ordered some materials so my husband could try spinning.

“Babe, you can do this while watching TV!”

Then BOOM! Another Idea. Yo, my MOM can do this too. She’s looking for a new hobby and I have just the thing!

I called up my mom and told her what she had to do for me to keep my hobby going. Between laughs, “Rumpelstiltskin this, Rumpelstiltskin that”, “Mom, it’s easy!” “Whatever, girl!”, “Don’t you want me to be happy and help me with something I love to do?” I think I convinced her to get on board.

So just to make it easier for them to get into the craft, I picked up a few things so they can get started right away.

We are going to learn together. Family bonding time is where it is! It’s gonna be GRAND!

*sigh*

Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

-Nizzy

Lessons Learned While Knitting

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I never thought I would have so many lessons learned from knitting three pairs of fingerless gloves.

1.  Knitting (and other crafting)  for others is just as rewarding (if not more) than knitting for yourself.  Knowing others enjoy what I’ve made for them makes me smile.

2.  I was always hesitant to “waste” pattern stitches on black yarn.  This mini cable still has great texture and definition on this dark yarn.  I’ll never doubt that again.

3.  Bartering is just as good as selling an item in some cases.  Knitting is just one of those things that it’s hard to get full value for your project because it’s so labor intensive.  And good yarn doesn’t always come cheap!  You really have to keep projects small and fast to make it worthwhile if you are going the financial route.  Or not!  If you have a true love for knitting and the money doesn’t matter as much, then that is okay too! 

4.  I have a love/hate relationship with variegated yarn.  I love the colors, but hate how some of the color transitions are either too short or too long.  You really have to study the yarn and swatch (I know, *groan*)  to see if it’s perfect for your project.   

5.  What is the point of a glove with no fingers?  Uhhh, now I know!  These are actually WARM and they serve a purpose.  I recently read a comment on FB that said “There is a special place in hell for people who wear fingerless gloves.”  I mean if you have to be in a cold place where you need to keep your fingers free, say, like a photographer, or in my frigid basement trying to use a computer, why would you not want to warm up as much skin as possible and keep the cold air from going up your sleeves? Oh well, I am officially team fingerless gloves!

- Nizzy