Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm Wearing a Tablecloth!

I'm wearing a tablecloth! A garage sale tablecloth. And I love it!

This jacket is made from an originally white, rayon damask tablecloth I bought at a garage sale last summer. The tablecloth spent the winter in a drawer mulling over its options. Finally it decided to become a blue jacket.

First, I washed and bleached the tablecloth with chlorine bleach. It had plenty of coffee or other spots, and most of them came out. Second, I decided where on the tablecloth I would place my pattern pieces to best utilize the damask pattern. Third, I cut up the tablecloth into manageable pieces and zigzagged the edges. The reason for that was to make it easier to stir the fabric in the dyepot for more even dyeing.

I dyed it using Procion MX dye--Midnight Blue, I think. This was my first home alone dyeing adventure. I was pleased with the way the tablecloth turned out. The damask pattern shows up very well.

There was only one problem. I couldn't remember which pattern pieces went on which fabric pieces. So when the dyed fabric was rinsed, washed and dried, I had to work with the pattern pieces and the fabric again. Only this time, the smaller fabric pieces limited where I could put the pattern pieces. I really should make notes of these experiments with alchemy.

I used Chinese ball buttons and corded loops as a fastening, and I usually button all of them. It is unlined and very comfortable. The jacket drapes well and (I think) looks better on me than the pictures show. I am not listing to the side. The camera holder is.

This is the back.

Now I have two more tablecloths and several smaller linens dyed. It is fun to use these pieces as fabric.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sheep Baa Loudly!

I didn't remember that. But sheep baa loudly. Very loudly. And they have different vocal ranges--bass, baritone, tenor. I didn't hear any altos or sopranos.

Yesterday my daughter and I went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. We first took a leisurely stroll through the vendors, looking at the lovely yarn and roving, tools and gadgets, and sample projects. It was especially interesting to see the hand dyed fibers. The colors are gorgeous, and incite drool.

Throughout the stroll, each of us muttered to ourselves and each other, "I don't need any more projects." And, "I already have some of that."

Our muttering was successful. I only bought a bottle of Synthrapol. Although I do have some of that, I don't have enough for more projects.

My daughter bought two root beer floats. She drank one and I drank the other. The root beer floats were sold by the Future Farmers of America Alumni. A discussion about the vendors commenced. Are they farmers? Or former future farmers? Or both? Or some of each? We didn't ask them.

We also took the grand tour of the sheep barns. That's where we reminded about the sheep voices. Loud. Very loud. And rude, on occasion. My sources describe the actual sheep voices as "parodies of themselves." My sources are right.

This knowledge of loud sheep voices causes one to think about the idea of counting sheep to fall asleep. It wouldn't work. The baaing would keep one awake. It would keep one's neighbors awake. The neighbors banging on one's ceiling would keep one awake. The law enforcement official ringing one's doorbell would keep one awake. The siren of the firetruck called as reinforcement would keep one awake. The splashing of the water from the fire hose squirting the sheep would keep one awake. The barking of the sheepdogs brought by the animal control officer herding the sheep would keep one awake. Counting sheep wouldn't work.

Better to count goldfish.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fancy Feet!

Aren't they fabulous?

And they're mine, all mine!

In June at the Relay for Life, I won a certificate for a pedicure in the door prize drawing for survivors. Not an ordinary pedicure, but a Spa Pedicure!

This week I ventured out for the Spa Pedicure. I have never had a pedicure before. Or even a manicure. It was my chance to become glamorous!

One of the many reasons I've never had a Spa Pedicure (or even a regular one) before has to do with my everyday footwear:

And my dress-up footwear:

And my football footwear:

And my... Oh, no, these aren't my footwear, but they are my feet.

The size of my feet makes it difficult to find footwear. I wear size 5AA. One of the first things I learned when we moved to West Michigan is that Dutch people are tall and have big feet. And they brought those feet to West Michigan. I've been laughed out of every shoe store in town. And it's getting harder to find shoes in my size online. Several manufacturers that used to make my size no longer do. New Balance, my previous favorite shoes, even changed their last to provide "a roomier toe box". I don't need that room, and the size I used to wear is now too wide.

is what is available in my size. After you eliminate all the Birkenstocks, which are too wide, all the tap dance shoes, all the ballet shoes, and all the shoes over $150, there's not much left. (If you have a good source of shoes in my size, please let me know.)

The Spa Pedicure itself was wonderful. I should have taken notes, because I can't remember even half the steps. The massaging chair, the foot soak, the exfoliating cream, the lotion, the feet in plastic bags wrapped in a hot towel, the foot and leg massage. And after both feet were done, it seemed the same steps were repeated except with different creams and lotions. My toenails were filed, my calluses and rough spots were treated, my cuticles were pushed back, and several coats of polish were applied to my toenails. I read Elle, Glamour, and three issues of People.

I left the salon with my well-moisturized feel sliding all over my sandals. When I got home, I sat for an hour with my fancy feet on the footstool so the polish could dry completely. And then I put my socks and shoes back on. My feet were freezing.

And now I'm glamorous. I'll definitely win a Spa Pedicure again.