Friday, June 29, 2012

Morning Musings about Mold

It is six o'clock in the morning. I am awake early again. I think it is a combination of drinking green juice everyday and sleeping in the Living room on the sofa. Pretty sure it is mold in the bedroom. I was instructed by the property owner to keep the door closed and stay out via e-mail at 10:50 pm on wednesday night.

I have, only last night, I went into the room to look for something and oh, the stench! I coughed for a bit and felt very nauseas and my elbows started aching again. My clothes are still in the closet, the dresser drawers, my shoes, purses and jewelry are still in there. I don't know how contaminated they are getting. I have a nice upholstered headboard that I designed, it is raspberry silk and white ceramic tile. I don't know if I have a photo of it..

The bed when I first moved in. I eventually painted the walls Benjamin Moore Fresh Cut Grass.  A beautiful spring green with a hint of yellow. The contrast against the raspberry silk of the headboard is very refreshing.

Calla Lily pleat, velvet drapery panel
The other thing that is left in the room is a purple velvet drapery panel. It was a practice panel of playing with different pleat styles. They look somewhat like calla lilies, very pretty and very unique, all done by hand. I use it when I give workshops on window treatment design.  I would go and photograph that, but it is in that room and I am staying out of there today. After another 12 hours I can only imagine the smell. Oh, I do have a photo...

My concern is will these textile items be able to be cleaned and free of the mold spores? Or will they have to be discarded? I have left the sheets and mattress pad on the bed, in hopes that the mold spores are only on the surface and will not infect the mattress itself. If that has to be replaced, then so be it. But the headboard and the drapery panel. They are my creations! I have enjoyed them in my surroundings, they are an expression of me, something I did for myself.  The headboard was originally done for the LAST Minneapolis Spring Home and Garden Show that I did, back in 2000.

How do you let go of what you have created? I do it all of the time when I create for clients. It is different. I create for them, I know it isn't meant for me. Using my skill and experience I create something that fits what their needs are, their personal style.  This is different, this is something I created to enjoy myself, a pure expression of myself. I rarely take the time to create for me anymore. That is one thing that I want to do more of. This blog is to assist me in sharing what I am doing for myself, take some of the guilt out of it. Inspire someone else, share learning experiences, how to steps or just plain inspiration. So far it has shown me where I am creative. It is getting expressed, in my writing, my food experiments, my textile design.. It is slowly but surely getting me back on board with what I love to do! CREATE!!! ANYTHING!!!

The Dark Shadows in the corner
Back to the morning musing... anybody know anything about mold? It isn't the black slimy type. It is only showing up on the drywall screw heads as dark circles and into the corner there is a dark shadow line coming down from the ceiling and then along the edge of the crown. This is only on the exterior walls of the house. Where it is exposed to rain and sun, LOTS of Sun! When the 90 degree weather hit a few weekends ago and it was rainy and stormy, that is when the discoloration began to bloom and my symptoms intensified.

But the air quality! Oh, it is awful. It makes me gag a little just to think of it. It is very stale. You know when you have had a lot of dairy and it coats your tongue in the morning, before you brush your teeth? Almost a sour milk smell, but not quite that.. it is very Blaugggghhh! Imagine a big gag when your tongue can't get stretched out of your mouth any longer and it is pulling on the back of your throat and it makes you gag even harder... that is the feeling I get thinking about it!

If anyone has any insights or suggestions, please comment. I am at a loss. I am totally stressed out. I have a sewing project of 9 large pillows to complete before I leave on the 11th for Bainbridge Island, a book to read by Leatrice Eiseman for the color class, packing for the trip and for moving and I don't know how I am going to get it all done and done well! It will work out.. I must go and be productive. Meeting with a client today to give her paint colors for her Lower level and daughter's room.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Paris Bohemian Style

That is what my friend calls it, my unique style of decorating. This is not my style of designing, my clients dictate that. Rather my blend of working with what I have and making it my home, a reflection of things I love. Things that remind me of someone, somewhere, something, as well as just beautiful objects themselves. Beauty inspires me.

My living room.. I love my silver walls!
My christmas tree, sparkling on the silver walls, my christmas tree will be great in a new space, at Christmas time of course!
I have lived at my current location for 11 years. It has been home. These walls have supported me through a divorce, a bankruptcy, creative brilliance, gathering with friends, and finding my SELF again. Digging out my inner passions from the packed away corners of subconscious storage.

The apron is on hold. Yesterday, I just received notice from my landlord that I have to vacate my home within 61 days. (60, as of today) I have been knowing for a while that I was moving, the space has just become to small to manage my creativity and access all of my materials and tools, let alone a work space.

So, I am purging again..  I find myself at that place again. Letting go, time to purge. There are things to assess, things that I have carried with me for 25 or more years. Some things tools, I was on the verge of using again.. some things, can most likely be thrown away... So, the process of letting go and not getting 'irritated' and the process of allowing the joy and excitement of a new adventure to unfold, surprises and the creation of a whole new life. It is the end of an era.
I love the colors in my kitchen, I love the backsplash... white italian glass with a black checkerboard and metallic accents.. I am so ready for a more functional kitchen, workspace.. a nice countertop run.. and a butlers pantry! I want a butlers pantry.. I have a bunch of beautiful dishes, that I have just recently taken out of STORAGE.  I will not purge my dishes, or my linens.. well, maybe the ugly dishes.. oh, I don't have any. (hehehehee)

I wonder how my Paris Bohemian style will emerge...what is the next space and what do I have to do to get there. The annoying part of it all, is that the timing for me is not the best, I haven't much saved for a move. The color training in WA has been my financial goal, the one I had been saving for. I was planning to use my vacation time as a time to assess the direction I want to take my career and create a structure to support that. The next thing was to save for the move and when I had everything prepared, give notice.

I see now, I find myself in the midst of a lesson in trust. Trust that the 'universe' truly does provide exactly what I need at precisely the time that I need it. Faith in that trust, is what gives me the grace to be myself and follow my natural instincts. So in this time that would be stressful to most, I am going to have fun and play. Play with the possibility of being my highest potential and attracting to myself that which I am not even conscious is my desire!

This will be a continuing thread, as I reflect on how I got to this place in my life and where I want to go with my life in the next phase. Most importantly, doing what I have to be doing to make it happen! Allow myself the quiet time, of self reflection and meditation for the new creative inspiration to emerge. I feel the next thing. Up until now I haven't had the slightest clue what it looks like. Yesterday was a roller coaster, let's see what type of a ride today is.. I hope I don't THROW UP!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chocolate Vanilla Coconut Cream! Oh, my!

This weekend started my focus for getting healthy. I have had a nasty cough for the last several months and not been feeling very energetic, motivated or inspired. (This blog has helped so much for sparking inspiration)

So the new regimen is green juice every day... lots of chlorophyll. Although, there is no chlorophyll in this dessert, it was super easy and super tasty.

I have a vita-mix and I love it, it makes very creamy anything! So this is a dessert that I put together.
I started with the coconut vanilla cream.
1 1/2 cups cashews soaked overnight
2 young thai coconuts (the meat inside)
1 Tbsp Agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut water
vanilla bean seeds

The soaked cashew in the vita-mix with a little filtered water, until very creamy consistency. (Almost like stiff whipped cream. Add all other ingredients and vita-mix until same consistency is created)

Put into a bowl and reserve 1/4 cup in the vita-mix.
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup Raw Cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut water
1/3 coconut oil (liquid, in the summer this is its natural state, if it is solid, set it in hot water and it will liquify, high heats will loose the health benefits)
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Spoon into dessert dishes, spoon coconut vanilla cream on top and sprinkle with raw cacao powder, cinnamon and vanilla bean seed. Chill for at least an hour.

It is very tasty, non dairy and no sugar!

By eating healthy, I am creating a vibrant life for myself. Connecting the threads of my passions, interests and aspirations. Becoming what I want to be, expressing who I am and expanding my experience of self.. Experiencing every moment, vital, brilliant and aware!

Enjoy your monday, the beginning of something new, it may be a week, it may be a life!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sewing and Life-What do they have in common?

As I started with the green ric-rac first and was then going to apply the yellow, green it is. The double ric-rac would have been a great effect, however, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it doesn't line up that way around the curves. It stretches differently and a whole nodule of ric-rac can end up needing to be eased around the curve. I considered tacking it by hand, but 5 and 1/4 yards of ric-rac I wouldn't get this done until Christmas!
Ric-Rac out of alignment

Life lesson #1, too many things going on at once, eliminate what is not working. That doesn't mean get rid of it all together, it just means, not in this moment or in this place.
Here is the bib completed with just the simple green ric-rac outlining the pieces.
The next step is to cut the center of the bottom of the apron skirt to the slash marks for the curve of the ruffle and attach an additional piece. The directions recommend doing a french seam. I love the finish of a french seam, so I went ahead and did that.

Lesson #2 Just DO it!
Sew wrong sides together
Pressing the seam, stitch again

I am so pleased with the results, I photograph the inserted section and realize... AUGGGHHH!!!

The cherries are going in opposite directions!

Lesson #3 (#2 is a photo caption) Most likely no one else will notice. But YOU WILL KNOW! Will it compromise the end result by doing it over? Will I be happier with it done the way I want it done, or will it compromise the fabric. On delicate fabrics, I would leave it, as the handling of the fabric, tearing it out and doing it over again may make the fabric appear overworked. Sometimes a more creative solution is in order. In this case however, my trusty friend the seam ripper. (it is wise to be on as friendly terms with the seam ripper as the sewing machine-positive and negative forces at work.. always keeping the balance)
Seam ripper at work, French seams are twice the work to take out! EEK!

My tapered gathering stitches
Instructions-is it just me????

I restitched the french seams, pressed them towards the outside edges of the apron and proceeded to the dreaded 1/8" to 1/16" tapered stitch line. Which leads to Life Lesson #4. If you are dreading something ahead and haven't done what you need to do to get there. Most likely, it will be a daunting task. As I progressed through the instructions, I realized what they really wanted me to do. The task was for the gathering stitches, not the seam! Piece of cake! (Well, no, I am trying not to think about cake these days) Just take it one step at a time and you will ease right into the task with effortless success!

See! the cherries are going the same direction!
Detail of the yellow ric rac insert

Finally, the joining of the gathered edge, the flat edge and the ric-rac. The directions look like they want you to do this all in one step. That seemed like a torture! I basted the ric-rac on and then stitched the seams together.. The green ric rac seemed to get lost in the fabric, so here is where the yellow became useful. And voila! the apron skirt is complete, sans ric arc on the edge, which will be green. I needed to take a break from it and conquer the technology of sharing.. as you can see..we have pictures. Yup! Remember to restart your computer after a software update... !! Things go much more smoothly. (that was the bonus life lesson!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pictures... worth a thousand words... I will have posted 1000 words before I can figure out this picture stuff!

Today I worked on the apron. There was a great deal of progress made. I finished the bib and the skirt. Had a few mishaps along the way and ALL were documented with a photo.

I have determined I like lots of pictures. I like blogs that have lots of pic's. Photos, images and pictures have always been very inspiring to me. They can invoke emotion, they can express a mood, capture a moment. And in this moment, my photos are unavailable to me. I can access the 2000 plus photos on my computer, however, since the iPhoto upgrade, have not been able to get the thumbnails in blogger to select the ones I want for each post. And I have a good dozen to share!

So while my time capsule is backing up my 37.05 GB of data, which apparently was never initiated (or backed up) I am posting yet another wordy post to share.

It is important for me to continue to share with the people out there who check this. I know someone is reading it  (I check the stats, it is a great surprise that after the US most of the access comes from Germany and Russia!) I don't know if you are the same person or if there are a handful of you or all different people- A BIG THANK YOU FOR CHECKING IN!  I find comfort in your support knowing that you are checking back with me to see the progress I am making in this new frontier of communication and sharing. I have been more focused on getting to those things that "I" want to do. Not because I have to, rather, because I am inspired to do them and share the results.

I may still post again this evening, with photos... or tomorrow. I am wanting to finish the apron this week and start on the assignments for the color class coming up in less than a month. I will share my ideas for chosen medium and the progress of completing.

Thanks for reading and being witness to the evolution of expression and discovery of new creative passions. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Not what I expected

I had a great idea for the ric-rac-ric-rac-ric-rac! My plan was to use BOTH! I was going to put the green on first and then add the yellow so the points were alternating. Ric-rac doesn't work that way! Especially around a curve! It stretches ever so slightly as it eases around the curves and then they don't ease quite the same. So the problem is that some yellow points end up behind the green ones, while others land right in the middle and still others (annoyingly) land nowhere near a pleasing spot! Yes, I know there are a great deal of exclamation points here, but, this has been frustrating..

The apron will be just the green. I do like the yellow with the fabric and may find myself making something else with it, or maybe not. The bib of the apron has the ric-rac applied and is ready to be gathered. The skirt piece is the next section. The slashed curve says to start at an 1/8" from the raw edge and gradually taper to 1/16"! (Exclamation again! 1/16"???? Really?? That is impressive if I can pull that one off.

I will post photos tomorrow (evening) of the bib and if I get to that slashed business, I will add a photo of that detail... if it works or NOT... I will share the glory or the agony... this is after all about practice and challenging oneself, regardless of the outcome. Either way, it will be a very happy apron when it is finished and so far I believe I will be pleased with it.

Good night and happy dreams!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thunderstorms and Thursdays.....

Well, that was a totally different day than I had planned. After Midol for breakfast and relaxing all morning listening to the rain and thunder, I was ready to work on the apron, actually really excited about it. I thought to check e-mails first and then head off to the sewing corner when, 'none of my networks' could be found. I looked at the the outlet strip and saw NO red glowing light. I went into the bedroom and the clock was not flashing, it was just dark! No electricity. I was thinking now what to do, when a friend called in a total panic. She is packing to move, hasn't found a place to live yet and not really sure what to do next. She asked if I could come and help her. So I did. I just got home. I am wiped out, time for more Midol and maybe a movie. Then a day of design work on Friday.. Patience, no one will get to the apron before me.. it is ready whenever I am.. there is no deadline.. but I will get it done. And the ric-rac idea, so fun, it is a great solution. It might be a bit tricky, however, I think the results will be worth it, no I KNOW the results will be worth it. So.. tune in again, maybe I will post again tomorrow, maybe not until Monday... we will see how the weekend goes. Happy Friday Tomorrow! I did not post this at 7 something pm and I did not post this morning at 6:46. I am not sure how to set the time on this correctly.. hmmm. more research.

Ric-Rac Teaser

Today's post will be short as I will be heading off to the sewing corner to work on the apron. I have finally determined what to do with the ric-rac. I hope to have some photos to share later in the day.... it certainly was a dilemma. I went back to Glad's several times to assess the Hot pink situation, as if it would magically appear after three trips! ... I was sure there used to be some when I worked there.  And wow! The batiks are bursting again! There are some very new lovelies!

I did pick up the lining color for those fancy little bows, too! You will just have to wait and see with the progress report. I will post photos tonight of whatever I get done. It looks like a potential rainy day, great for sewing... ooh, there is a little rumble of thunder in the distance.. mmm, nice.

Have a happy one!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Polyester challenge and a Ric-Rac-Ric-Rac update

Good morning! It is a beautiful tuesday, the sun is shining, there is a nice cool breeze and the temperature looks like it is not going to get any where near where it was on Sunday! (Sewing day) Sew, I did NOT! The comments have trickled in and I still have a tie. I have two comments on the blog, one for the green and one for the yellow. I did receive two votes from Facebook friends as well, one for green and one for yellow.  ( I did have one friend vote for hot pink on Facebook as well, although, that was not one of the options) Unfortunately, the perfect pink is not available..I can however, reprint the fabric in the future and correct the pink if I want to remake more. Maybe design my own pattern and have kits available. What do you think?

Why not just go find hot pink? I prefer to use 100% cotton ric-rac. It is softer and easier to work with than a polyester blend.

I am not a big fan of polyester anything. While there are some beautiful fabrics out there (sometimes I can't resist a beautiful fabric) However, I don't especially like sewing on it or wearing it. It is slippery, doesn't breathe well and because it is synthetic it carries its own charge. So it clings to things you don't want it to, like your legs (skirts or pants) or a wall (draperies).

I recall several occasions working in drapery workrooms where designers had specified wall to wall draperies. Many times the yardage required was substantial, 70 yards and upwards! An inexpensive fabric was often times used to minimize an already expensive endeavor. (Designers are actually a cost conscious bunch!) What was often specified? -A polyester!  I could see the scenario coming at the measure, so I learned to ask fiber content for my estimates as well.

The draperies were made, they were beautiful, until they were installed and the bottoms of them all wanted to flare out, lay flat and hug the wall due to the resistance to itself. It would NOT ever hold a crease all the way to the bottom.

In an effort for the designer to save money on large quantities of yardage,  more expense was incurred, as a more suitable, more expensive fabric had to be ordered in addition to the vast amounts of yardage that were originally used, plus twice the labor!

Knowledge of fiber will save a great deal of frustration when sewing on challenging fabrics. If it is a beautiful fabric, you can meditate and prepare yourself with all the patience you can muster to have a pleasant journey and a beautifully finished product.

Potential options for sewing draperies with a polyester fabric happens in the design stage,  compensate for the fabric behavior, use a bead weight hem rather than the double 4" which is typically standard practice.
A bead weight hem in cotton
No crinoline or buckram header, polyester sheer- sparkly! :)
 A less structured header, maybe with no crinoline or buckram can be an interesting look. Because the hems will be unstructured, design the tops unstructured as well.  The finished drapery isn't as structured as those vintage custom sheers from the '50's through the '70's.  And not all polyesters are created equal! You will typically pay a great deal more for one that holds its pleats. The textures and colors are also more limited. (whites and creams) Cotton sheers will hold a pleat beautifully and silk sheers, while they will be absolutely gorgeous, expect them to rot off your windows before 2 years is up! Not worth the expense. Silk and sunlight are never a good combo... 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Something for me, something for you

It has been a busy week indeed. I promised a post regarding my new project inspiration, this is NOT it! I am not intentionally building suspense, it is just happening that way. I will say, it is a very inspiring project for ME! So it is something I can share with you!  It involves a beautiful marbled paper that I found at my local DickBlick and this end table, of which there are a pair. When a friend moved, they were in his storage unit and he said I could have them. We bought them together for his house from an estate sale. He then moved out of state. When I went to retrieve them, the movers had gouged the tops of both of them. They are Hammary, a good brand of furniture, solid, most likely from the 70's... maybe earlier.  I haven't researched them at this point. They match the floor to closely and I am going to use them as a base for some functional creative expression. That is all I am going to say at this point about them.. watch for future posts on the progress of these as well. (No, I am not a person that works on one project at a time... I used to be.. come to think of it, I got more completed that way, inspiration for the next thing leads to motivation for the current thing.. ) Maybe it is time to correct that habit? What works for you? one project or multiple projects?

The messed up top :(

Any way, this week is a reminder of what happens and why I don't get my projects started ... or finished for that matter! I am not frustrated, just observing my lifestyle patterns and how I rearrange my schedule for others at my own expense. I started a creative calendar yesterday. One for blog posts AND projects to share with you. If I am working on a project for myself, sharing it with you keeps me inspired in the process.  It is important to make time for yourself... if you don't, no one else does... except when you get so crabby they can't stand to be around you! I find for me when that happens, I can't stand to be around myself either! Take time for YOU!!!

And now, if you would do something for me :) -- please I need a tie breaker for the ric-rac-ric-rac-ric-rac....... from the previous post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I love saying, I have been saying it all day! Ric-Rac-Ric-Rac-Ric-Rac-Ric-Rac! only I have been whispering it to myself. Today was a trip to Glad Creations to retrieve the perfect Ric-Rac. I was originally thinking a pink.. how I feel about pink, I LOVE PINK. Only the pink that was there was not blue enough. It had a great deal of orange in it, and it wasn't the effect I was looking for. I wanted something more the color of the cherries, a deep fuchsia, magenta color. 

I was then thinking the stem green as a back up plan, then I spotted the yellow. It was a brilliant surprise. If I were to surface apply the ric-rac, the yellow would definitely be too strong, however, as the ric-rac is applied under the edge, only the tips peak out.. as in picot edge- Yes, that is what I like about ric-rac, the picot edge that is created. Oh, yes, back to the colors, as I was already settling for a back up plan and the surprise of the yellow is intriguing me, my dilemma is now- I have no preference!

So I have a request for everyone out there. Please... will some of you send me a comment as to which ric-rac color you prefer? It would be a great help... I know someone is reading this.. I don't know if you are the same people or if you happen upon it once and never come back (eek! I hope that is not the case!) However, whoever you are, I can not express how grateful I am for the time that each of you take to read what I write. It is my hope that you find this journey I am on interesting, intriguing, but mostly.. I want to inspire and empower you all to try something new, get outside of your comfort zone and have fun!!!! It is greatly inspiring and empowering for me to share what I am up to, with the world. At least the world that has found my blog. I am dedicated to continue to make this an interesting an unpredictable venue to share my creative expansion. 

Please send me a response!  I would like to choose by the end of the evening tomorrow night and sew it up Thursday.. although knowing what else I have to get done.. that is a bit ambitious for me... So, lets say by friday night at 10:00 pm I will see which option wins and proceed to complete the apron over the weekend, posting on Monday or Tuesday.. tadaaaa- the finished apron! Most likely there will be a post before friday night, as I have another project developing that I am VERY excited about... a new technique and 'brushing' up on an old talent/skill. So tune in again to see what I have planned for a late June project. Structure, that is the gift I am getting back.. order from chaos.. creative chaos. THANK YOU for reading and THANK YOU for sharing your preferences and/or an inspiration.

-the cut out pieces.....

And the pattern envelope... "A" The full apron is the goal..WITHOUT the embroidered roses.. I will do the bows, which ever Ric-rac is chosen AND I may match a Kona cotton to line the bows.. just so the tails show something other than white and they finish nicely, they are an embellishment after all... check back in before friday to see what else is conjuring...