Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm Home!!

When I was a child, we had family friends who took a road trip vacation every summer. The trips were not elaborate, five children and two adults stuffed into a station wagon, but they always had a wonderful time and took loads of pictures. Their greatest joy was sharing those pictures once they returned. We would be invited over for an evening of slides and popcorn. My parents thought the evening was extremely boring, but not me, I loved witnessing the stories that each member of the family would remember as a new image would pop up on the screen. 
Although I returned last night, my heart and mind are still in Monhegan....and yes, I took loads of pictures! Sadly, I can't offer you a bowl of popcorn and in this new modern way of sharing "slides," if you are bored, you can just move on to another blog :-) So at the expense of possibly boring you, I will share a few of my pictures and memories of my trip.  
I had sunny days and foggy days while I was on Monhegan Island. I can't say which I like best as both offer a different experience. 
This sign "greets" you as you come off the boat. 
 Monhegan Inn faces the harbor and offers one of the most spectacular views.
Lobster traps. Everything on the island seems to have an air of artistry about it, even a pile of lobster traps.

This is the inn where I stayed. It is called Monhegan House and was built before the turn of the century. The man who owns the inn told me that when he and his wife bought the inn in 2000, it still had some of the original plumbing that had been installed in 1903. 
My little room. When you are here, you feel as though you are staying in a person's home rather than renting a hotel room.
Up on the fourth floor of the inn is a private little area that looks out over the island, perfect for a little morning writing. 
 The only church on the island. It was built sometime in the middle of the 1800's.
It now has electricity(not much though), but you can see that there are still gas lamps. To conserve energy, the gas lamps are used during the winter.
A view of the harbor from Monhegan House. You can see Monhegan Inn through the fog. 
 The island is called "The Artist Island" and it lives up to its name. Sculpture and artwork are everywhere.
Even a lobster buoy tossed up against some rocks takes on the appearance of a piece of sculpture.
I took tons of flower pictures. The light on the island is so incredible and the flowers seem to have an intensity that I have never seen anywhere else.
A bee busy at work in a rose blossom.
 Spectacular sun flowers.
A monarch on a Butterfly Bush.
Sunflowers against the side of a house.
Wild blackberries are plentiful on the trails.
Look at how magnificent the sky is against this house.
There are miles and miles of hiking trails on the island. This photo was taken on a trail called Cathedral Woods.
It's a rather magical trail.
  As you walk along, you'll find "Fairy Houses." I especially loved this grotto.
 Some can be quite elaborate. The folklore is that the fairies build the houses at night ;-)
 The trails open up to the most spectacular views of the ocean.
I especially loved this picture. An artist in her element.
 Even a piece of driftwood along the trail takes on the appearance of a piece of sculpture.
Looking down from the trail.

 I don't know why, but I really like this picture :-) It's as if he posed just for me.

A huge tree had fallen. I thought that the view of the massive root system was so interesting.
What do I look like while on vacation? No makeup and happy!
And finally, a happy face inviting me back.
I had a wonderful time. I'm rested, refreshed and ready to get back to my projects. Thanks for allowing me to share a bit of my vacation with you.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On Vacation

This Friday I leave for a magical place,
Monhegan Island, Maine.
Three years ago, I found out about a retreat called http://www.knittingandyogaadventures.com/. As I read through what the retreat had to offer, and I saw pictures of the island, I wanted so badly to go, so I did. The island is about an hour off the coast of Maine. There are only 35 people who live there on a year round basis. No cars and no bicycles. Within just a few days of my stay, I knew that I must come back.
If you read my Sunday Night Reflections post, you have probably seen a few pictures that I took while I was there.
 A handmade garden gate.
The home of artist Jamie Wyeth. One morning I was sitting on the rocks doing my morning writing when the fog rolled in. It gave the house the most mysterious feeling.
Hiking trails. Most of the island is uninhabited. You can walk a different trail everyday.
My dogs and my family will stay home so I will have a quiet week. I'm taking a knitting project, my sketch pad, my writing journal and some clothes of course ;)
I had thought that I would try and have posts ahead so that I could continue to post while I'm away, but I've decided that I need a true vacation. So this will be my last post until I return on September 1st.
Once I return, I will finish up the zebra dress tutorials which now will become a denim dress. We'll have new Fabulous Free Pattern Friday pieces, and new Sleeves On Saturdays. I've mentioned that some new and interesting things are happening and I will finally be able to share one of those with you. Actually, it will be a type of a journey that you'll be able to follow as I work through the process.
One thing that I would like to share before I go is that we have reached the 450 mark with the pillowcase project!!! Beyond exciting. So when I return, we will have the big 450 hanging of the pillowcases.
I hope to see you all back here September 1st!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Night Reflections

"I dare you to see beauty."
Photographer Sees Beyond Disabilities and Redefines Beauty from anberlin_fan on GodTube.

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The Zebra Dress Tutorial Part 2

First, I need to apologize for not basically disappearing for a few days. Sometimes something has to give and sadly, it was the blog. But, I'm back and doing my best to catch up by posting the second tutorial on the zebra dress. You can find the first tutorial here, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-zebra-dress-tutorial-begins.html
Just in case you are just finding this dress, we began with the Butterick pattern, 5678, just a basic shirt pattern. 
And this is what I created.
 In the first tutorial I went over how important it is to get a good fit before you begin with any of the design details. My bodice has been fitted and I have also drafted the raised collar as well as the cap sleeves. For the tutorial on the raised collar, you can find that here, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2013/05/28/rhonda-buss-the-raised-collar-neckline-tutorial/, and for the cap sleeves, you can find that tutorial here, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2012/07/sleeves-on-saturdays_26.html  Take note the you will only be using the first part of the tutorial for the sleeve since we will not be adding a long sleeve to this design. Once you have drafted the sleeve, you will probably need to round off the shoulder seam as it comes down on the arm.
At this point, the design would lend itself to a blouse or a dress, but we want to take it a little further.
Begin by rounding the raised collar on the right side of the garment.
Now draw in a style line. This will actually become a yoke. The black wax line is approximately 2" below the armpit. Note that this line does not continue to the back, but stops at the side seam. The first line that I drew wasn't exactly what I wanted so I drew in a second line. Now I just have to remember which line I like!
 In the picture below I have placed a mark at my waistline.
Now draw in a line from the collar, rounding the front edge of the collar. The line will intersect the princess line seam and end at the waistline.  
The style lines have been drawn in and you can see what they look like from the front.
Now for the lines that create the wow factor. The line that will come under the bust line begins approximately 2" from the princess line seam and angels down under the bust.
 The picture below shows the line going across the front of the garment.
 This line will intersect the line we drew from the neckline on the left side of the garment.
 I'm happy with my lines and I will now cut out the area that should no longer be there.
 The piece has now been removed.
You can see that the garment gaps a bit at the princess line seams. This could be because I am not exactly the same size as my dress form or it may be that I need to tweak my fitting just a bit. Sometimes once changes are made, the fitting will change just a bit as well.

Remember that we want a very well fitting garment. If the garment does not fit well, it will gape open once it is finished and spoil the look.
At this point try the garment on and make any necessary adjustments.
 Below is the original dress with the center cut out.
And how it looks with the bustier underneath.
The next step will be to take the pattern pieces apart and add the length and the flare to the hem. As you can see, once the dress is broken down into steps, it really isn't difficult to do.
I will be making the dress once again for this tutorial series. I bought a piece of denim and a great zipper. I'm just a little undecided about what to make the bustier out of. Any ideas?

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