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441  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: embroidered empire summer dress on: July 25, 2006 12:24:40 AM
It very beautiful. May i ask how you make straps so thin?

hah! I'm terribly neurotic. I do it all by hand because turning a long skinny tube inside out is absolutely maddening and I haven't the patience. Instead, I cut a long thin strip of my voile, then pressed both cut edges to the center (all along the length of it, that is - so now it was half as wide as my original cut strip). Then, I rolled it - from one folded edge to the other - tightly, pressing and pinning to secure as I went. I stitched the entire thing by hand with equally neurotic tiny stitches - just like doing a blind hem, you keep most of the thread hidden in the fold, nipping out every eighth inch or so to anchor it to the other side.

does that make sense?
442  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / oilbars ROCK on: July 24, 2006 08:16:02 PM
so I finally purchased some oilbars, wanting to break out of the acrylic landscape and start exploring oil stuff. I've been holding off doing anything with them, not sure how to start, and wanting to be inspired when I finally tore into the packaging. So my friend's 30th birthday was this weekend and Thursday night I had sudden inspiration - we'd gone to the zoo with our friends (said birthday boy and his wife, also a good friend) and their 2 year old (22 months, close enough!) daughter a couple weeks ago, and I knew we'd taken at least a couple pictures. So I broke out the charcoal and the oilbars after work on Friday and five hours later...voila!

here she is, miss ivy c.
443  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: embroidered empire summer dress on: July 24, 2006 07:56:57 PM
wow, thanks everyone! Yep, it's been a great piece in this hot weather, and when it cools down, I tromp around in it with my motorcycle boots. To answer a couple of questions:

Beautiful!!! Did you hand embroider it??
yep. I've been embroidering since high school, it's so meditative. It's one of my favorite things to do on my daily commute to work (bus), even if I do feel a little weird pulling a half-constructed dress out in front of 30 perfect strangers.

So beautiful! Did you make it from a pattern?
Actually, no. I drafted the pattern on my dressform for this project, and then did additional fittings on myself.

thanks again!
444  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / first post. Perhaps I over-love Anthro? - pic heavy! on: July 24, 2006 07:44:28 PM
here we go! I'll do these chronologically:

commanche stitch necklace of black seed beads, fringed with black seed bead fringe trimmed with garnets. (and a few small bugle beads in the front center) This would be age 16 or 17 or so.

detail of said necklace.

beaded necklace. Center stone is polished agate, with peyote stitch band around it,trimmed with freeform beadwork surrounding freshwater pearls, garnet, and iolite. Coins are 5 yen pieces. Necklace proper is a dutch spiral of freshwater pearls around beads. Made at age 18 for my senior prom. (I did an asian theme)

detail of center section.

a couple years ago, anthropologie ran these necklaces and bracelets made of ribbon backed on lamb's leather, with beads in the center. I saw it in vogue a few months prior, and anthro selling them at 80 bucks a bracelet was the last straw. I made my own. ribbon backed with leather, three leather straps tie it, faceted glass beads on eyepins in the middle.

french wire, brass chain, with freshwater pearl dangles. two winters ago, wear 'em all the time.

this piece I put together finally after having collected the various pieces over the years. center is a white howlite cabochon, metal findings and smoky quartz beads connect the three rows of chains interspersed with pearls and the occasional glass beads. smoky quartz dangles from the howlite cabochon with a broken seahorse charm (it looked so perfect - just a little "off" - and when the retailer realized it was broken, he gave it to me for free!)  Made it last fall, also wear it all the time - and got snaps from my future professors when I wore it to a conference this spring! it's a magic necklace!

my own interpretation of anthropologie's "synchronized strand" from this spring/summer. I fell in love with it, but wanted something more delicate...and that didn't cost a hundred bucks, of course. Made of brass charms, jump rings, and brass rod (from the hardware store) that I shaped and soldered into the larger, heavier rings. My mother and aunt loved it so much when they visited earlier this spring that I made them each their own unique ones, too.

welp, that's it for now! Thanks for having a look!
445  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / embroidered empire summer dress **UPDATED! Now with tutorial, pg. 5** on: July 24, 2006 06:32:02 PM
long time lurker, first project post. I knew this spring that I wanted a lightweight empire-waist summer dress in white cotton. However, when I got this voile, I realized I wanted more texture, so I tea-dyed the fabric (the underskirt is a bit lighter). Fully lined, it buttons up the back with mismatched white buttons, and I made the bust fit tightly so that I could wear it braless on those hot summer days. Skirt has 4 gores for volume at the base. Embroidery is a chartreuse silk embroidery thread with a bit of colour variation - I was worried at first, but I think I like the end result.

front view

detail of the bust

detail of embroidery on side of skirt (as seen in full image)

thanks for looking!
446  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Re: The Frugal Beader: An oxymoron? Will my dastardly cheap plan suceed? >.< on: June 19, 2006 05:01:26 PM
Another thing to keep in mind...

is what kind of beadwork you want to be doing. I started working with just seed beads and, yes, fishing line at the tender age of 14. I don't think I graduated to needles and beading thread for a couple of years, but by then I had a solid understanding of peyote and commanche, made wall hangings for friends out of square stitch (only once! 4 passes through each bead? I doubt I'll EVER do that again!), killed time in classes by doing african double helix and dutch spiral patterns around my pencils, etc. It was cheap, and it was a great way to start.

I guess what I'm saying is: if you don't want to be working with wire and doing things that involve chain, eye pins, head pins, and all the requisite tools - or if you're trying to save a few bucks, just starting out with the beads, some thread or fishing line and basic patterns can be very rewarding. I don't know about Fire Mountain beads, but you can snag hanks of seed beads for as cheap as $6 or so - and strings for far, far less.

I also used to browse garage and estate sales. I once found an 18" string of lapis lazuli beads for 50 cents. Good deals are out there to be had, but take your time building up your wares, don't feel like you have to do it all at once!

I used the about.com's beadwork site for my resources when I was first learning patterns - the gal who was the moderator at that time was really great about posting weekly lessons and keeping galleries updated. I have to admit that when she left, I stopped visiting the site, because things became too "easy" and I was no longer really interested, but I think there are still some great resources on the site anyhow, and there are tons on the internet.

Happy beading!
447  CLOTHING / Clothing Sewalongs / Re: Anthropologie on: June 02, 2006 10:53:41 PM
I noticed no one has added to this posting in a while, but it seems like such a great idea! I have several things I would like to copy, but I also have one problem: fabric. Where does all of Anthropologie's great fabric come from? Where do you all find yours? I've been lucky a time or two, but Denver's fabric selection is so depressing.

One of my favorite things to do is haunt vintage clothing stores for pieces with large expanses of great fabric. I found a 1960s empire dress in two layers of cotton voile - a barely-there palest green screen printed with tiny white stars over a pale minty green - that was a total steal at 9 bucks. True, the neckline and sleeves were bedecked in horrid ruffles of the same, and there's no way it would have fit the shoulders on my 6' tal frame, but I used the a-line skirt to make...well, an A-line skirt (knee-length). I trimmed it with kelly green at the hem and waistline, put in a new zipper along the back seam, and added a little embroidered leaf extended-tab over a snap closure at the waist. It's still one of my favorite summer skirts, and I always get asked if it's an Anthropologie piece.
448  CLOTHING / Clothing Sewalongs / Re: Anthropologie on: June 02, 2006 10:44:09 PM
For a long time, I had my eye on the most gorgeous dress on the Anthropologie website, but I can't find it anymore.  I should have saved a picture of it.  Cry

edit: darn, i even checked ebay.  it was dark solid (jersey, maybe?) sleeveless with a round neckline but the fabric was kind of folded into the neckline... aw, never mind.  darn.

when did you see it? Tell me which season, and if you know the name, and give me a few more details. I can probably scan it for you! I have all of the anthropologie catalogues from the last couple of years. I love them more than fashion magazines. Heck, they ARE my fashion magazines. I'm actually wearing a knock-off of the "synchronized strand" right now. I use them as much for inspiration for my own ideas as for knocking off. There's NOTHING like wandering through their stores with a notebook and pencil in hand Wink
449  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: What to do with avocado? on: June 02, 2006 10:03:30 PM
miss martha stewart makes a protein shake with 1 avocado, 4 oz. tofu, 1 c pear juice, 2 T honey, 1/2 t. vanilla blended until smooth. Then add 2 C. ice and blend until smooth (and thick!)

it's this pale green and lightly avocado-fruity. It's really delicious, perfect after a morning run. enjoy!
450  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Cookbooks, Pantry-stocking, and Seasonal Eating, oh my! on: June 02, 2006 09:57:10 PM
Okay, so I'm not a vegetarian, but my bf and I both really love to cook and love to eat, and we eat maybe one or two servings (4-6 oz) of meat a week. We like meat, but no more than anything else. Neither of us has ever had a problem getting our vitamins - in fact, if you're eating a balanced vegetarian diet, you're probably MORE likely to get what you need. No problems with protein or iron deficiency, either. This is a great time to learn to really cook! Consider exploring your local farmer's markets (or sign up for a CSA box) and learning to eat seasonally as well - you'll find a new kind of balance in your eating. If you have a Whole Foods in your neighbourhood, all of the products I'm about to mention can be found there as well.

Spinach and broccoli are both really nutrient-rich vegetables - any dark, leafy-greens are really going to help up your vitamins. Remember that while soy is out there, so are beans - and beans have a lot of protein, too. Add nuts and avocado for fats to keep your hair and skin glossy. Think colourful and varied texture and explore! There's a lot out there, food is fun!

Some favorite cookbooks that I'd highly recommend:

Gordon Hammersley's "Bistro Cooking At Home" - every recipe in this book is awesome. It's not a vegetarian cookbook, but there are some great veggie recipes.

"Fields of Greens" - a second, lower-fat cookbook from the Greens restaurant in California. The Greens restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant that supplies most of its own produce from its nearby organic gardens. This one is all-vegetarian. Make the coucous pilaf and follow their suggestions for pairing with asparagus or watercress in a sesame vinagrette - it's incredibly simple, quick, but SO good.

Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" - not every recipe in this cookbook is inspired, but it has a LOT - and I do mean a LOT - of choices. I use it primarily for pilafs and things made from dry legumes, as it has something for every dry grain and legume out there, as well as vegetable dishes listed by main ingredient - which is really handy if you're trying to figure out how to work some beets into your diet!

So those are my staples of late for building our weekly menus, but I also recently checked out "The Artful Vegan" from the library. It is simply stunning! The recipes are from the Millenium restaurant in San Fran. Vegan Haute Cuisine. Need I say more? Yes, the recipes are time-consuming and complex. Yes, there are a fair number of ingredients. But, having made a few of these so far, I have to say, they KNOW their stuff. If you're interested, try starting with their pastas - they're simpler. Note: should you go vegan, this cookbook is PACKED with vegan condiments, sauces, aiolis, etc. Good resource.

I've heard that Charlie Trotter's "RAW" is similar - tons of ingredients, hours of prep, food that is as much art as food. I hope to check it out soon, but without a dehydrator, I'd probably be out of luck for most of his recipes.

Of course, you still need some standbys for the pantry. Here are a few things that I really enjoy:

Double Rainbow's Soy Cream. They make a fantastic "Cherry Garcia" like flavor. I find Soy Delicious brand chalky and icky, try Double Rainbow instead. While we're talking dessert, Tofutti Cuties are great! The mint ones are not so great - skip those, stick to vanilla or chocolate.

Toby's Tofu Pate - pick up this egg-salad knockoff that's coloured (and flavoured!) with tumeric and other spices. Remarkably similar to egg salad without the heaviness or egginess. It's really, REALLY good. Can't emphasize that enough.

Silk brand Soymilk. I keep a quart of the chocolate silk in the fridge at all times. I'll take a few swigs off the carton (the bf loathes soymilk, so the Silk is mine, all mine!) for a quick snack and chocolate fix - and soy is loaded with healthy protein.

Check out cultured soy yogurts. Nancy's is great (another hometown food, also avail at Whole Foods). They're pretty good.

Try Soy Crisps (deelish) or Soy Nuts (toasted, they're kind of like corn nuts) for a protein-packed snack.

Field Roast veggie & grain meats - my favorite is the wild mushroom. They even make Field Roast sausages and roasts! It's a nice break from all those soy meats - it's not trying to be meat, just delicious veggie lunch slices.

I like Gardenburger better than Boca, especially the flavored ones - roasted vegetable, Greek, etc.

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, buy their Chickenless Nuggets. THey look and taste exactly like those horrid McDonald's nuggets, but they're tofu! I almost feel guilty eating them, the resemblance is so striking. Also, check out Gardenburger's Riblets for veggie ribs slathered in bbq sauce. They're delicious, but yikes! the sodium content is high! Don't eat a lot more sodium in the day if you have one of these. (they're SO worth it, though!)

Try tempeh slices for lunch - a bit more texture than tofu. Slice it up and saute with 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced, a T. of olive oil, and a good splash of soy sauce for delicious savory sandwich stuffing.

Love hummous? It's packed with protein from garbanzo beans. You can make your own with a can of beans (rinse them well to lose that "canned" flavor), the juice of a lemon or two, a crushed (through a press) garlic clove, and salt and pepper to taste - blend until smooth. Try in a pita with tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce for lunch, or eat on cucumber slices in the summer.

Martha Stewart had a recipe a few months back for an amazing smoothie that includes healthy fats and a lot of protein - it's really great after a morning run. Blend 1 ripe Haas avocado, 4 oz. silken tofu, 1 c. pear juice, 2 T honey (or agave nectar, if you're vegan) and 1/2 tsp. vanilla until smooth. Add 2 c. ice and process until smooth. This serves four (easily) - and the avocado will go brown, so if you're not drinking it all at once, cut the recipe down.

Another great breakfast started is to blend fresh apple juice, banana, and shredded basil leaves. You'll be amazed. It's great.

Anyhow, hope this helps. Though I just haven't the heart to give up bacon (though Smart Bacon isn't TOO terrible), really, vegetarianism doesn't need to be a difficult change - not with the wealth of products available to people today. If you'd like, feel free to PM me. I LOVE food and I'd be happy to share some of my favorite veg. and vegan recipes to help you get started!

Oh - and the previous comment about your digestive track being off for a while as you make this change is really true. I find that whenever I go off soy for a while, it takes about two weeks of re-introduction to adjust. Just hang in there, your body will thank you for this!

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