Myths and Legends

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What a lovely collection of books and placing Myths right next to the Orwell book 1984 is pretty funny as 1984 does not really feel like a myth anymore! Still, the legends are the books next door a bunch of Star Wars parody books – yes more humour is what we need. Now on to last week that went by in a flash! It was a night of teaching double drawstring bags at the library followed by my birthday then a night out to the Arts Focus exhibition, and then Thursday night it was PBL (Project Based Learning) night and Open house at school. Friday night I still had to polish up my science essay so I could submit it this week! Just too much – I think I need to stop and breathe, which is why I went to Yoga on Saturday!

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The double drawstring bag sewing workshop at the library was a hit with a full class of 12 students who were eager to get their bags completed. We have 1.5 hours in the community room – so it is over pretty quickly. A lucky few did get them done, but lucky the library has open hours for sewing over the weekend and during the weekend for the students to complete their bags. The prep for this workshop is just cutting the fabric to size, and lucky my friend gave me a box of fabric I could use for this class that was just perfect.

Myth – I do not like alcohol! I have not been drinking as I need a clear head to write essays and focus on my University work, but it was lovely to have just one cocktail and feel pretty good! A fact I do love food, feeling uninspired by the Bay Area offerings for food locally I opted for a ‘sustainable seafood’ restaurant called Pacific Catch that opened up in the local shopping centre. Ideally, I am wanting one of those fantastic Portland restaurants that serve alcohol and raw vegan, local, organic food, but alas that is not to happen here, it’s more about the beers and the burgers – boring! Anyway, I will be back home in Melbourne soon and the food there is the best. Still, I had a lovely feast at Pacific Catch with some appetisers starting with some Poke – absolutely delicious! The coconut shrimp – very moreish but not too good for someone who doesn’t eat fried food too often. My main was fish tacos served with black beans and creole fries, yummo! Though the fries had to be passed on to my hubby and the kids as they were too much fried goodness for me. Afterwards (as there were no real exciting dessert options at this restaurant) we wandered downtown Mountain View to my fave treat place – Alexanders Patisserie and had a lemon tart and some other incredible mascarpone based deliciousness! Such a lovely evening of eating with the family 😀

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My friend’s ceramics exhibit
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The beautiful cat quilt – the group work
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The dragon and fire quilt – the other group work

 

Wednesday was another night out with the Arts where I have a job of interviewing the kids for a newsletter article about the joys of the Arts Focus program. A program entirely run by parent volunteers who teach in the classroom for 12 weeks of the year – with an exhibition in between each one. A totally immersive hands-on experience with art that the kids absolutely adore. I am so happy to be a part of the team and teach the kids sewing. This program has inspired me to do my Degree in Teaching for when we return to Australia, though I have less than 4 years or so to completion. I am enjoying the classes, and it is quite exciting to use what I have experienced and bring it to my lessons. I am learning so much new information, and I love it. Now back to writing my World of Maths essay about ‘How Constructivism is the best way to teach math.’

We are a community

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Last week was the final week of our Arts Focus classes at our school, it is always a fun ride for the 12 weeks of the year with the art show after the first session of 6 weeks. Following on is the second six-week session, and the art show will be on view at City Hall beginning next week. I have my class of 26 kids artwork on show, and this time I managed to get a broad range of pieces from hats, fabric collages, pipe cleaner dolls, embroidery, Felt LED cuffs and Felt Animals. The quilts are just beautiful with is super cool cat fabric and a dragon quilt as well – thanks to the parent volunteers of the sewing team who choose and sew up the quilts for this session. The quilt will be offered for bids at the Silent Auction to the parents of the kiddos who were in the sewing class.

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I always enjoy what the kids create, and this time we had some extra time, and they could make another project focussing on their stitch work and embellishing. The hat and the bunny were created by kindergarten children who used their stitches in an interesting way. The bear in the centre pic is made by a 2nd grader who took great pride in her work. I love to see anyone enjoying the needle arts and to see kids stretch themselves by experimenting is such a joyful experience!

Speaking of seeing experimental needle arts in action…  Monday I taught a sewing workshop at the Mountain View Public Library on making a small purse from repurposed interior design fabric from FabMo. The fun part is always seeing what fabrics people choose for the purses – this project only needed 3 pieces. I like to see how people matched or mismatched their fabric to get the desired effect. I have worked with these fabrics for a long time, and it took me ages to feel free working with a tonal collection of fabrics or even just mixing the patterns. The class was 12 adults and about a quarter of the class completed the project in the 1.5-hour class – a lot of time was spent deliberating on the fabric choice! Still, once it is on the sewing machine, this project is a breeze.

I will leave this week with my International Women’s day, A day without a woman picture. The Pussyhat project wanted to see some hats up on their website for the day, so I found my rainbow and pink pussyhat. To go with the rainbow theme, I found this delightful picture my daughter made for me years ago with rainbows and black crows. It seemed relevant for the moment showing that no matter how many black crows (or darkness) is on the horizon there is always love and rainbows. I enjoy being part of a community be it at the library or my school, and we work together for the common good of all – now and always. Peace xo

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A piece a Week – A Pencil Roll for the Sewing Workshop at the Library

After coming back from camping I created a list of things to do before end of April and this is one of the projects. I needed to have this done so I could get some help with the prep work of  cutting the fabric from the library. This idea I found on the Small & Friendly blog which was a no sew pencil holder. I wanted to combine the use of FabMo fabric for the exterior so I used some silk and linen fabric samples for the exterior and created an outer lining and added the ribbon to tie it all together. Once I have the tutorial ready I will have to have add it here. The sewing workshop is on May 17 so if you are in Mountain View and like to make one of these then is the workshop for you, register online at the Mountain View Library. These also will make an awesome gift for the coloring in fan in your life – my daughter is borrowing until I need it for the workshop. 
Wrap and Roll your Pencils and off you go…
I visited the ceramic studio after the Spring Break and found some goodies that had come from the kiln. I have been experimenting with my trimming tools on the pieces I have been making and it is interesting to see what happens once they are glazed – these are all high fire stoneware pieces that are super heavy duty so they make perfect pots for my plants – so I will be making more in the future. 
Green speckle glaze on this beehive inspired pot
A slab rolled bowl with slip and dipped in two glazes
Trimmed to create bumps on the bowl and dipped in copper red and matte white
We had a very relaxed weekend with family time at the Cherry Blossom Festival on a beautiful spring day minus the cherry blossoms (they bloomed a couple of months ago)! Still it was fun to check out the Japanese craft displays – Sumi-e, bonsai, sword display, dogs to pat, hula dancing and crafts for the kids. The kids wanted to make a bamboo flute so that was an interesting project though playing the flute is way harder than it looks! Michael the vendor at the stall made it look super easy! Think we will have to chat to my MIL about her flute playing and see if she has any tips 🙂 
Using a heated up drill bit to melt holes in the bamboo
Ikebana display with a favorite flower of mine the Peony

Bonsai succulent – a great name for a band!

A piece a Week – This Tuesday Come make a Sock Monkey at the Mountain View Public Library

Coming up this Tuesday at the Mountain View Public Library is Sew Sew with FabMo and I will be hosting a sock monkey workshop in conjunction with this years animal for Chinese New Year. We were brainstorming at the last sewing event and we wondering what could be a fun project for the new year ? Downtown Abbey and tea cosys were an option but then we thought Year of the Monkey and Sock Monkey it was! The class is free so anyone who is available this Tuesday evening from 6:30pm can register at the library website BYO crew socks. 
Time to repurpose your socks for the New Year!
Another piece I worked on this week were PJ pants for my Mum in Australia. She loved the fox with a bandana fabric so much I am making a pair for her birthday this week! 

Custom designed Super comfy PJ pants

Finally the kids went back to school and it was all on and back to reality and I had to set up for the Arts Focus Art Show at Mountain View City Hall. The show is up for everyone to see until the 21st January where we have our reception at 5:30pm.

Our 6 weeks of Sewing class with a pillow, stuffed animal, pipe cleaner doll, LED Cuff, Hat
and lots of Fabric Collages

Lots of Fabric Collages, Pipe Cleaner Dolls, Tassels, an LED Cuff and some embroidery
Plus our group projects 2 Quilts to be hung

A piece a Week – A dress for a Night out at the Museum

My whole focus this week was making a dress for a night out to the California Academy of Sciences this Friday. I found this lovely silk chiffon fabric and had to line it with a shiny cotton from Japan. It is such a beautiful combination of colours. My last couple of steps to complete this project is to hem it and hand sew in the facing which needs to be done during the day because of the best light! To accessorize I found a beaded bolero at the vintage store downtown and I have some lovely shiny jewels to compliment the colours on the dress – the complete outfit will come together Friday – yay it is very exciting to get dressed up for a night on the town! 
Silky dress with pockets
The weekend was a Deepavali (South Indian name for Diwali) party at our friends place – I did not have a sari to wear but I found this lovely sequin dress at the vintage store on Friday so what better excuse than the Festival of Light to wear many sequins! We played with lots of fireworks outside with the kiddos and ate some delicious food and enjoyed excellent conversation. 
Photobombed by Missy! 

Outside getting some firework action! 

And tomorrow the 17 November I will be teaching a How to Make an Infinity Scarf workshop at the Mountain View Library, all on the machine and this time the machines are threaded and ready to sew! The fabric was found at FabMo – they had about 4 bolts of this stretch rayon fabric so it is has the perfect drape for this project. It is a fairly easy project so I am looking forward to see how the sewing students enjoy it tomorrow night 🙂

Infinity Scarf workshop at the library

A piece a Week – Halloween Treat Bags at the library workshop and Halloween Fun!

The lead up to Halloween was busy with preparing costumes and also a workshop at the Mountain View Public Library. I volunteer at the library presenting workshops to future sewers 🙂 It is part of a collaboration with FabMo who provide some of the materials and Friends of the Library and in this workshop we made Halloween Goodie Bags using sewing machines. Everyone was very excited about the class and below is one of my favorites with a cat on it! 
Sew Sew with FabMo at the library – once a month!
Cat treat bag nearly finished!
On Tuesday I presented the workshop to adults and on Thursday I was presenting our first week of Arts Focus at our school to the kids. I had a class 26 kids from Kinder to 5th Grade who were eager to start on their first project – a pin cushion for their sewing tool kit. After morning recess the kids who finished their first project were all set for making a Fleece Hat, Robin Hood style to applique and embellish to their hearts content. 
A little friend sewing away before he cut all his threads away – yikes! 
Then come Friday it was costume time on the dance floor for my aerobic dance class. We have such a good time together it is hard to believe we are exercising! So every Halloween we wear a costume that we can dance in! I found this beautiful vintage green dress from the 1960s so I could be a Go Go Dancer – the dress had a lovely little train on the back that flounced out for dancing so it was perfect. The dress was a bit too tight for dancing in the tummy so I added panels to the side which made it way more comfortable. The wig I bought online from Manic Panic – the place where I find my hair dye favorite – Vampire Red. 
Enjoying a cuddle from my favorite little kitten Bella
Don’t touch that hose in the garden – we are in a drought! 
Friday night and the festivities began with Trunk or Treat for the kiddos at school with friends. Families would decorate their trunk to hand out candy to the kids and they can hang with their buddies and have a good time. My little trick or treaters were Garfield and a lady from the Renaissance – the olden days. 
Garfield stripes – I cannot see the tail pinned to his pants, when you are 10 you make your own costume! 
Halloween was on Saturday so it was a perfect day for a party! Friends of ours had a Dungeons and Dragons game with the boys and then dinner and after a quick dinner the kids were so excited about Trick or Treating! There were a gang of over 10 kids in our group which was a lot of fun and the houses they went to enjoyed giving out treats to a group. It was a very hot day which is why I did not wear the wig and decided to change into a costume inspired by Effie from the Hunger Games. Maybe next year I will try and track down that amazing hair of hers!! 
The gang all ready to party – Missy hiding behind Dad!

Here is our gang of kids and parents including a wizard, a zombie, Indiana Jones, a Knight, Maleficient, a Fairy Godmother, a Vampire, Garfield, a Gangster, superhero, A dude from Steampunk, a Grim Reaper, a Cowgirl – also we had in the house a Badminton player and his shuttlecock!

Everyone before they departed

Cannot wait to go Trick or Treating! 

The fun part of trick or treating is what you can score in the treats and Missy was very excited about her vampire fangs that someone handed out to her in a handful of treats! Boo!! Halloween is my favorite time of the year!

Check out my fangs!

A piece a Week – A tote bag sample for the Local Library Workshop

I am getting excited about teaching folks how to make a patchwork bag from 8″ squares from FabMo fabric samples. The Library Services Manager asked if I would like to host a workshop sometime at the library and this has been months in the making. Between busy schedules of myself, the library and FabMo we finally have set a date for June 25. It will be a creative collaboration presented by FabMo and the Mountain View Library and the totes will be free to take home to whoever wants to make one. The fun thing is that there are so many designs and patterns to choose from and every bag will be a one of a kind!

If you have ever wanted to try out sewing or would like to make a patchwork bag register at the library – flyers to be out soon… watch this space!!

Snacking tote made from 8″ pieces sunset, sky and grass side

Snacking tote made from 8″ pieces – pink & grey side

Lunchin’ tote made from 8″ pieces
Beach tote made from 12″ pieces

B side of the Beach tote made from 12″ pieces

Our kids craft project this week is pom poms – it was fine for the first one or two and Missy decided she wanted to make a snowman. I should have a picture of that guy but he got terribly squashed in my bag so here is our rainbow pom pom hanging happily at the front door.