STILL Hacked

launchpartyprep

It doesn’t look like much is happening with the ole blog these past few weeks, but under the hood, it’s getting outfitted with some impressive security measures and tensile armor. Or something. I don’t know, when the husband starts to emit sounds that include words like “sql” and “SSH keys” my ear flaps involuntarily close up.

Unfortunately, the tinkering that’s going on means that even though I’ve tried to add new posts, the blog keeps reverting back to the Happy Friday/going to Vancouver one. It’s very likely that this will happen again, so I’m keeping this short and just letting you know that the issue is getting addressed. He says he’s almost got it all cleaned up. Who knows? Maybe at some point I’ll be able to go on at length about the lovely launch party for Sewing Happiness (check out the cute book trailer that Sasquatch Books made) at Drygoods and the myriad of upcoming events: Bainbridge Island! Queen Anne! Seattle Japanese Garden! Central Public Library!

Stay tuned.

Happy Friday + Randomness

vancouver-sketch

Happy Friday! So, we’re getting out of town and heading to Vancouver next week! K’s friend is visiting from Guatemala and on the spur-of-the-moment, we booked tickets for Amtrak plus an Air BNB, and off we go on an all-girls’ trip to Canada. One senior citizen, one middle-aged mama and two tweens. This should be interesting. We’re all about the same age mentally, so it’s going to be a blast. Due to the crazy number of things going on, we can only stay for a couple of days which means we won’t be able to hit the Harrison Hot Springs, but the place we’re staying in (Yaletown) has a pool and sauna. Fabulous.

We’ll explore Granville and fabric stores and if anyone has recommendations/suggestions, I’d love to hear! We’re looking for some good restaurants in or near downtown.

With travel and party/launch prep, etc. I’m scaling back a little and will post on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll do my best to make them extra fun posts. Happy, happy weekend everyone!

The house elves won’t stop
‘Lectric crisis and the like*
How to appease them?

*We are now experiencing electrical problemos and I keep finding baffling new ways in which the house can fall apart and other oddness. Who knew that bees would be in our lighting fixtures? I’m ready for a vacation!

Giveaway: Caran D’Ache Gouache Paint Set [CLOSED]

giveaway-carandache

I find it interesting (and disconcerting) that household matters start to nosedive in clumps. Within a ridiculously short period, our oven firecracker-ed and died (so scary), our bath tub drain stopped up, our faucet water turned a stomach-turning shade of brown. I could go on, but the onslaught has been punishing. My poor mom, she arrived from Los Angeles yesterday to a fully dysfunctional house.

It’s as though the house elves are taunting, “Take that!! Can you handle this??”

Luckily, the drama has been fairly short-lived, and we have a new electric range, the second bottle of Drano solved the tub issue (sorry environment), and the city inspector just notified me that there had been some fire hydrant testing going on which caused the iron ore and sediments to stir up in the pipe mains. The water is a less offensive beige now, and should start clearing up in a little bit.

When I start to feel defeated by outer circumstances that I can’t control, it seems counterintuitive but I like to give things away. I recently gifted a friend a set of watercolor paints, and it seemed to make her so happy, my mood soared by a thousand leagues.

That reminded me that I have this other set that I’ve been saving…for what, I don’t know, but it’s a beautiful gouache collection. I actually already have the very same set that I haven’t used up, so this was initially meant as back-up because I adore this brand so much and had this irrational fear that it might get discontinued. However, it’s clear to me that it’s going to end up sitting in my paint cabinet for years to come, so I want to offer it up as a giveaway.

giveaway-carandache2

This Caran D’Ache set is what I started painting with when I first decided to get back into all the “creative” activities I let fall to the wayside while I was working full-time. With the impending launch of Sewing Happiness, I’ve been thinking back to that time a lot. Remember how I was so affected by the negative review on Amazon? As if to make me feel extra relieved, I found out that the book got a starred rating from Library Journal and the review was so kind and uplifting, I was smiling for hours.

I used these paints here and here and here. Good times.

Anyway, would anyone like some gouache paint? It’s great for kids as well, and the colors are incredibly rich and vibrant. As per usual, any comment would do, but I’d be keen to know if there’s some sort of previously loved activity that you’ve let fall to the wayside that you’d like to pick up again. My intention isn’t to make you feel guilty about it, but to (I hope) remind you how much you enjoyed it.

I’ll leave the giveaway open until the end of next week — let’s say April 14th. I’ll announce the winner the next day and international entries are always awesome. Good luck!

Monday Outfit! The Spring Thea Dress

thea-dress1

K must be reading this blog, because after I posted about the dearth of kid-sewing around here, she began to pepper me with requests for handmade clothes.

As luck would have it, Mel commented on that post and introduced me to Blaverry (I’m salivating over Mel’s denim Decklyn jacket, by the way). K and I browsed through the site and she chose the Thea Dress. “Make it tight, Mama,” she instructed. She’s really into tight clothes.

thea-dress2

I branched out and used a floral print knit. Isn’t it pretty? This here is an Art Gallery knit designed by my friend Frances Newcombe and it goes by the name Tree Fleur Blanc. I think I bought it some time last year? The minimal, modern dress pattern with the feminine, vintage-y print, it’s a winning combo. If this doesn’t say, Spring is here, I don’t know what does.

thea-dress5

Well, it’s not quite as form-fitting as K would normally like, even though I went down to a size 6 based on the finished measurements, but the fashionista’s declared the dress spectacular. “It looks extra good with blue tights, right?” she asked.

I added 2 inches to the skirt hem, and I’m glad I remembered to do that or else this would have been a tunic.

thea-dress4

I like the binding method of the neckline and how clean it looks. This is a thin, 95% cotton + 5% Spandex blend that’s so easy to sew — hardly curls, presses beautifully, drapes like a champ.

thea-dress3

The key to the Thea dress, which is easy to construct, is in the pleats. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever pleated a knit fabric before and I don’t think I have. It upgrades the style factor and K enjoys how swingy the skirt is.

thea-dress7

Yep. We’re in love.

thea-dress6

K loves this style so much, I’m going to make a couple more in different colors/prints. Thank you for directing me to Blaverry, Mel! I ordered a few more patterns and I can’t wait to try them out!

Happy Friday + Randomness

magnolias

Happy Friday! The flowers. They’re just everywhere, eye candy galore. The winds and general elements are starting to pluck away at the magnolia and the cherry blossom petals, but tulips are overtaking the landscape. Seattle is at its height of floral beauty around this time of year. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

A quick watercolor sketch today (hmmmm, as I’m looking at it, they blooms resemble campfire, do they not?), as I have some preparations ahead of me. My mom is coming next Tuesday, a new baby is joining our little townhouse complex (my neighbor is at the hospital delivering her baby as I type this) and I just feel the urge to freshen everything up.

It’s amazing what a few consecutive days of sunshine will do to boost the mood. I’m wishing you a beauteous weekend, my friends.

No April Fool’s here
Didn’t get the prankster gene
The other two did*

*M and K are both tricksters, so I better be on the lookout today!

P.S. Furoku members, #13 is heading your way tomorrow!!