Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rutgers Day 2011 plus actual sewing!

the sign says it all
The sign says it all...

Today was Rutgers Day! Yeah! I worked at Rutgers for 8 years in the chemistry dept so it was fun to go back.   I spent the morning on the Busch Campus with Christine at the "make your own virus structure out of toothpicks and marshmallows" table.  There were lots of kids making structures but when I took this picture, it was mainly adults...
making virus models
Here I am with the virus I made:
me and the virus I made from toothpicks and marshmallows
I learned that not all toothpicks are created equal; the Stop and Shop brand ones were the sturdiest and best. Ha!
And of course I had some liquid nitrogen ice cream:
making liquid nitrogen ice cream
making liquid nitrogen ice cream
Chemistry never tasted so good! (heavy cream, sugar, vanilla instantly frozen by liquid nitrogen...yum!)

Then I headed over to the Cook Campus for Ag Field Day to see the animals! Here I am with a cow, and my scissors bag. 
me and a cow...and my scissors purse!
A cow (not this one) slobbered on my jacket and pants, quite funny.

Long time followers of my blog may recall Rutgers Day 2010 and my mission to pet the spines of animals (to transfer the strength of their spines to mine, as per one of my pain books). This year I felt the neck of a cow; its hair (fur?) feels like velvet.
who are you looking at?
cows butting heads

Also two cows mooed while I was there--so cool to hear them "speak". 

I also petted a pig. I couldn't feel its spine (layer of fat? muscle?) but the pig hair felt coarse. I took a picture of this pig tail as inspiration to make the curly pig tail for my pig finger puppet.  This leads to the question, why are pig tails curly???  I don't know.
pig tail

I love the pig mamas and their piglets
mom and piglets

piglets sunning themselves

I didn't go to the petting zoo like last year but it was there and I could have petted a piglet and a lamb.  Then I wandered around and watched the cockroach races (just as funny this year as last year) and stopped by the entomology table and picked up a flyer about stink bugs.

Overall it was a great day; not too hot, a little cold at times, and I didn't feel like I was getting a sunburn like last year.

OMG actual sewing occurred tonight! I sewed the exterior and lining (and pocket) of the bag for SPR weekend Chicago (though I didn't sew the exterior and lining together, yet). I'm trying to decide on piping: black piping:
black piping?  simplicity 8331

or white piping:
or white piping??  Simplicity 8331
I don't know that white or black really makes a difference since neither pops but I like the clean finish of piping.

And on that note, be well and good night!  (Momma is sleeping here...)
good night!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Long time, no blog!  Here we go:

Here are some signs of spring:
farmer's market daffodils
Farmer's Market daffodils, on my desk at work.
bradford pear blossoms
Bradford Pear blossoms I picked up during a walk tonight.  There's a story behind that shotglass that's vaguely related to Easter...maybe another time...

My purple orchid at work dropped all its blossoms, but opened new ones.  I'm losing my office at work so in ~3 months, so pix like this will be history.  I haven't told my orchids yet but they will be so depressed to lose their light source.
mah orchids: the purple ones bloom again!

I cooked today but it's nothing you haven't seen before:  a very yellow meal:
a very yellow meal

chicken pizzola-ish

sweet potatoes
and I previously made this which I messed up, sigh:
angel hair with tomato basil sauce and broccoli

So I started a bag tonight that I might bring with me to SPR weekend Chicago if I finish it on time. It's Alexander Henry "perfect pattern" fabric that I bought at Stitch Lab in Austin last year.
Alexander Henry collection

"perfect pattern" Alexander Henry collection

Look what I'll be making soon:
guess what's next!

Current library books + one of mine.  Everyday Icon is about Michelle Obama's style. 
library books and one of mine 4/23/11

Here's a library book from a few weeks back--it's excellent! You don't have to believe every thought that enters your brain...
library book from 2 weeks ago

Hope the Easter bunny treats you all well!
Be well and good night!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meet bunny; New Look 6034 muslin #2

Meet bunny
Meet the newest member of the FPF (Finger Puppet Family);  Bunny.  Bunny is made from some fake fur I picked up in the Joann's remnant bin this past fall.  The stiffness of this fabric meant I couldn't turn bunny inside out, so all stitching is on the outside.  But Bunny is so fluffy, I think it's ok (plus the stiffness of the fabric means Bunny doesn't need a thread-stand).    Bunny has hot pink embroidered ears, whiskers, and hands.
rear view
Gwen, Bunny also has a pink pompom tail.
animal finger puppet trio
The trio is getting along nicely.

For Vanessa: I made another muslin of the New Look 6034 leggings.  I made them size 16 this time which matches my hip measurements exactly to the finished garment hip measurements.  So the leggings now fit in the hips.  I had done a one inch petite adjustment for length, which is fine if I wanted the leggings to be at my feet.  I actually want the leggings to end here (just like on the model on the envelope picture).  So when I make these a third time, I'm going to take about 5 inches out of the thigh to get the leggings to end here (in this picture I hiked the leggings upto where I want them to end...and you can see the beautiful rouching).
So the lesson is, if you want the leggings to end just like the model, and you're not model height, you're going to have to take some inches out somewhere.   In hiking mine up to where I want them to end, I see they fit pretty well through my thighs so I'm going to take the inches out right underneath the crotch line.

New Look 6034 muslin #2

Be well and good night!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pig meets cow finger puppet

pig meets cow

I introduced pig to a bunch of my coworkers today.  Some thought he was a cow, one thought he was a bear, some questioned his existence.   One thought he is a thread cozy (I love that, by the way).   But pig and I enjoyed work today--enough to make him a friend.

So I violated a rule of mine tonight: no sewing after work. I sewed after work.  And made pig a cow friend.

from the back
This was the result.   Gwen, I hear you about the tail on the pig.  I have an idea for that.  But in the meantime I was able to make a tail for the cow!  I used the number 4 repair needle, the sack needle, to pull the embroidery thread through to the right side.  Thanks to Kenneth King I learned how to use this needle at PR weekend Philly last year. (I used needle 4 below; though we used needle 5 in the workshop)

I used needle 4

They are happy together and I think pig will enjoy having cow's company while watching me work again tomorrow. 
best friends

Good night and be well!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

pig finger puppets and gold zebra striped undies

hello pig!

While I was in Austin I saw this ad in the local newspaper and LOVED the "toe puppet" pig and how its snout is a button (their pig is green). So I made a version of it tonight.
finger puppet pig in action

the start of the finger puppet pig
Starting materials: the inspiration pig in the ad; button for nose; beads for eyes, scrap of fabric that was a sample from Lucy's (that I had always wondered what I would use was the day!). I drew a pattern and cut it out.

Here's what it looked like when I was half-way through; the back isn't sewn on yet.
finger puppet pig in progress

Here's the back of the pig:
back of finger puppet pig

I think it's totally adorable! I'm in love!  He's coming with me to work tomorrow!

and of course, what you've all been waiting for, the zebra striped FOE, but it's in gold, so, tiger striped?
gold zebra striped boy shorts, with the pig looking on!

I sewed on this "adventure" label; very appropriate, don't you think?

It's only my second time working with FOE.  I'm still getting the hang of it.

At Antoinette's recommendation I bought the elastic from SewSassy.   Click on the link and it will take you to their elastics page; scroll down to get to the zebra section.  As always, the undies tutorial I use is from Antoinette.

I have an old, old, old UFO that I have been waiting for the right neck trim.  I think the black and white zebra FOE might just be my ticket!
Some labels I might use....

Thanks everyone for your warm wishes about the conference I attended!   The plan and visualization I had done was to knock their socks off; mission accomplished!  The panels went really well and I got some of the best feedback ever, and it felt good to share my knowledge.  Austin is a great city and it was fun to meet up with Antoinette and Leslie.  The hotel was really rockin' too.  Free hot chocolate delivered to my room every morning!


I wish you all a successful and healthy week.  Be well.