A piece a Week – Time out to the De Young

What a special time to go and visit the DeYoung with my friend from Oakland last week. It was my second last week to enjoy time before the chaos of summer kicks in and I have the kids for over 2 months. Time out to enjoy art is truly something that I cherish and the fact that clothes are involved it was even better! I really enjoyed the Oscar De La Renta show with all the color he used in his clothes and the fabrics – I just wanted to touch the fabrics they were exquisite. Working with textiles is like that – you just want to feel everything.

After checking out the show my friend and I had a quick wander around the De Young and found an inspiring textiles exhibition by Kay Sekimachi – student, teacher, artist with lots of woven textiles in various hues. Before we left the De Young in San Francisco we enjoyed Ruth Asawa in the downstairs foyer of the observation deck.

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Silkworm cocoons and moth

On the subject of fabrics we were visiting the farm at McClellan Ranch on Friday to get some chicken coop training. While we were waiting we visited the Nature center where there was a silkworm moth hatched from its cocoon. It was fascinating to learn about the life of this silk moth – it has 24 hours to find a mate and then it will die. I found this post about the lifecycle of a silkworm and I did not know there was such a thing as Peace Silk where the moths are allowed to emerge from their cocoons and live their life cycle.

And thanks to the lemonade project my daughter was doing at class I scored more lemons so I have decided to make a lemon shrub for cocktails this summer! When life gives you lemons (especially Meyer lemons!) then make a Lemon Shrub. Friday I went out with the ladies and had a watermelon shrub so what better way to understand what I was drinking – so I make my own.

 

 

A Piece a Week :: Foxy PJs for Winter, time to hibernate!

How very exciting my first post for 2016! I contemplated ending my weekly blog posting of – A Piece A Week but I will give it another year and see how it pans out. Three years is a good amount of time to give a project and it was rewarding and inspiring!
Just before Christmas, I made my PJ pants and I was in the process of making the top when I had to stop to devote my time to other things, such as the kids being home on the holidays. I had a deadline of the 31st December. The issue with not finishing the top in time was Christmas and being at home with the kids and making projects for them and getting my house ready for a remodel. So many unfinished projects linger around in my sewing room only to be overtaken by something that is way more exciting.
Whew January is just in the bathroom project is up and running and the master bedroom has been demolished and will be replaced with amazing porcelain tile from Spain for the walls and we will be also tiling the floor. My interior designer friend has helped me with this project and I am so excited for it to be starting at long last!
So with a little breather after my projects for the kiddos and ordering materials for the bathroom project I managed to finish my PJs in the nick of time. I messed up on the front with the foxes being upside down – I have to get used to working with repeated patterns like this! For the top I used the pattern for a 1970s Jedi top with kimono sleeves and instead of a sash I added metal buttons I had scored from FabMo when they inherited wool fabrics and buttons from a tailor. There are cute little pockets on the top as well as pockets are a good thing to have in garments, even PJs. Everyone can be a Jedi even while they are sleeping – I seriously think these were heavily influenced with all 7 of the Star Wars films I watched over the holidays!
Stretching out in new PJs for 2016
Oh for our NYE celebrations we spent a night out with friends at their house with this amazing photo booth – it was so much fun with a delicious Raclette dinner, some fine wine and wonderful company! There were some super fun games which were hilarious to play and we made it to midnight – Yay bring on 2016!!
Where is our other family member???
Oh there she is!!

A piece a Week – A Crochet UFO Pouf AKA Footstool

This week I managed to make the inside pillow for the crochet pouf I had been working on for a while. This project has taken a few weeks to do the crocheting part but the pillow was made up this week so I am using this project as my Piece this week. There is a fair bit of weaving to do on the top as well so this really is not fully complete (sigh…) Though it will pass as a project that is – done, I have a birthday party to prep for this week!

This pouf was inspired by a footstool from the CB2 catalogue – it was knitted in massive yarn which looked great and was over $100. So when I realized I had a fair amount of yarn in my stash (surprise, surprise!!) I thought it would be perfect for such a project. This was the pattern I followed to get the general idea for the pouf and then took it from there with the yarn ends I had.

I am really enjoying the weaving part of things as the yarn is yarn I had from when I made a cardigan for my little one when he was a wee one and by the time I completed it, he had grown!! It is an acrylic wool blend and so durable which is perfect for this project.

What I found amusing most of all was when I was working on it one day and someone asked if I was making a hat and I said no it is a pouf – they just looked at me blankly and walked away. Maybe you have to be from an European origin to understand that a pouf is something that you rest your feet on in the lounge room. I really enjoyed this project and it will be fun to have a few thrown around the floor just to sit on.

The stuffing for the pillow is made from an old crib duvet and some old clothes that were not good enough for Goodwill, it all fits well with my upcycling theme for this year. So grab your bulky yarn scraps and big crochet hook and crochet in the round using the pattern above and before you know it a great little footstool or large pillow is there for the floor.

The UFO Pouf which is now loved by the kiddos  
The B side of the UFO Pouf
Top of the UFO Pouf