Sewing and deconstructing

Yesterday was a good sewing day. I had spent Sunday cutting out fabric, Monday morning cutting out and fusing interfacing to the fabric and had a whole uninterrupted, blissful afternoon of sewing. I wasn't too thrilled with the 1/2 inch seam allowance - after all, I can't sew straight to save my life - but I did it. Finished the whole bag by dinnertime.
BUT, and it's a big but: the bag is meant for somebody of amazonian proportions. I made DH drape it over his shoulder and it looked great, just right for somebody 6' tall. I, however, am only 5'3" so the bag looks ridiculous on me. And I'm not thrilled with the straps and the top band (and I knew while sewing that there might be a problem, but I was hopeful, ya know?).
So, I will de-con-struct and re-con-struct. Eventually. I'm letting ideas percolate in my head and will work on it once I figure out exactly what to do next.
I'm a little disappointed because this is the second pattern by this designer I used and while the first bag turned out just fine, it wasn't quite so fine once I started putting my stuff into the bag. Even though, for me, it's more about the process than the finished product most of the time, I'd still like to end up with something usable in the end. The first bag was easily fixable, this one will take more time.


This and that again

It's hot this weekend, very hot, heat warning until tonight, heat advisory until tomorrow morning. We turned on the A/C just after 8 am. It's going to be a long, hot day.
I need to edit a whole memory stick full of pictures I took at Rodeo Beach a week or so ago, maybe later today. We went again on Friday - I live for trips to the ocean, especially the quiet beaches. But this time, we didn't spend all of our time on the beach, but walked up (and I mean UP - my shins are still hurting badly two days later) a hill to Battery Townsley. Another old military installation on the Marin Headlands. Not much of an installation, but at one time, it housed a huge gun, and it's on top of a rather steep hill. There's a road leading up to it, but it's blocked off at the bottom, so we walked. Wasn't a problem and makes for nice pictures from above.
The first five pictures are all Battery Townsley, the next one is of an installation on another hill (not sure that's accessible), not quite sure what the next one is. The last two show Rodeo Beach, the buildings of Fort Cronkhite (http://www.militarymuseum.org/FtCronkhite.html) and the lagoon.
My friend Marilee reviews movies and books on her blog regularly and it turns out there are quite a few movies we both like. I don't plan on making this a regular feature, but, just this once, I'll talk about a movie I watched last night. A German movie, called "Guys and Balls," about a gay soccer team. Funny, enjoyable, but, very obviously, not for everyone.


Another trip to San Francisco

Just a few pictures from the ferry trip to San Francisco last weekend. Beautiful day, right before a heat wave and I finally got to try chilaquiles from Primavera. Last time, I stood in line for 10 minutes or more before somebody came to tell all of us they had sold out of the chilaquiles. This time, I ate lunch first. Delicious! That'll be my lunch from now on. Unless, it's raining, then it'll probably be Out the Door (the take away section of Slanted Door.)

One of the stores inside the Ferry Building.
My favorite herb vendor at the farmers market.
Primavera - freshly made Mexican food.
My husband's favorite sausage seller - Aidell's.
Lots of flowers.
The big ferry, they have smaller ones, too. We seem to ride the same one there and back because the personnel is always the same. It's crowded on the way into the city, much less so on the way back.


I'm losing it

No, not my mind, thankfully. At least, I hope not.
No, the ability to do yoga properly. I think I need to explain a bit. I've been doing yoga off and on - more off than on - for many years, since I was 17, actually. I've taken classes in 2 countries and 2 states and have practiced at home, also more off than on. I got into it again seriously after I had hurt my arm 9 years ago and was unable to do much of anything. Anti-inflammatories didn't help, physical therapy didn't, by the time the problem was correctly diagnosed a few years later, I was doing better, thanks to lots of yoga and, I suppose, time which really does heal.
About 8-1/2 years ago, somebody recommended I see a yoga teacher who had helped her tremendously. This woman, who has become a very good friend, works miracles - really :-) She is trained as a yoga therapist and actually interviews prospective students (she doesn't call them patients, even though some definitely are). We hit it off immediately and I was a very good student for 6 years, 1 class a week, regular practice at home. My arm improved tremendously, I became quite flexible, learned to meditate, loved it all.
And then Henry died. Yoga went onto the back burner. Sure, I practiced occasionally, whenever something hurt, but not enough to make any forward progress. By now, I can tell I'm losing flexibility, I still don't practice much and my friend gently reminded me 2 weeks in a row that I need to practice more. No, she doesn't nag, and, yes, she couches it in very positive language: you've done so well and if you'd just practice a bit more, you could get to the next level. (There always is a next level in yoga, never an end.)
So, how do I do that? I seem to be totally incapable of maintaining a regular practice. I could, of course, blame Jerry who thinks I'm there for his amusement and whenever I end up on the floor, I'm only there to play with him. But that's not really it, although it does make a difference. Do I schedule regular time slots just for a few asanas? Do I do "yoga bits" - an asana here and there whenever I can? I'm working on it, but, so far, not so good.
The picture, BTW, is Henry at about 6-1/2 months working on his downward dog.


Petition for a suicide barrier

Clicking on the link in the title should get you to the latest petition (the one with quite a lot of signatures) and the names of the state representatives to be contacted to ask for their support for the amendment to the highway transportation bill.
Please sign and pass along the link and, if you feel like it, write to your representative urging him or her to support this amendment. I've already written to James Oberstar, John Mica and John Duncan and Peter Defazio and, along with a couple of other people from the Bridge Rail Foundation (www.bridgerail.org), visited the offices of three CA representatives. As of last count, 14 representatives, mostly from CA, but also one from Illinois, have cosigned the letter by Rep. Lynn Woolsey.
Slowly, very slowly ........


Continuing on .............

I got frustrated with blogger. Here I do a nice and neat layout, only to find that blogger has rearranged everything when it publishes. No matter how many times I edit and rearrange, it all ends up wonky and messy looking and I'm very tempted to make a separate post for each item - and I may do that yet.
I did give up on trying to include these in my previous post. They were made from a tutorial found here. Japanese good luck charms, cute, easy, fast and mildly addictive, but totally harmless.

And that - posting and taking pictures - takes care of my morning. Not quite what I had in mind, I was going to sew my way through the rest of the pile so I can get started on another bag, not the one I started designed a few weeks ago that is giving me nothing but grief, but something quick, easy and enjoyable.

Things spiraled out of control

It all started with this bag, made from this bag tutorial and embellished using this tutorial. I made three of them, changing the size just a little.

Then I thought what about bali fabrics? That's how this bag came about:

That left me with scraps, lots of them and I decided to try this tutorial. Two finished so far, but because I didn't read the instructions properly and cut too much fabric for the straps, there'll be 2 more, at least.

Yesterday, I decided to get a start on working my way through the unfinished projects, starting with these which were made using a tutorial found here .

And I finally sewed the button onto this bag which I made months ago.

I am having my usual problem with blogger which won't let me make this look nice - it's just fine when I type and rearrange things, but once it goes up on my blog, it looks awful. I apologize, I'm relatively neat, just computer challenged.


Not a lot to write about

Not a lot to write about - not because I haven't done anything, but because nothing I've done has been terribly interesting.
I've sorted beads all week and discovered that I have more size 6 beads than anybody could possibly use up in a lifetime. I've gone off the idea of transferring absolutely all of them into flip top containers. So, it's a mish mash of tubes and flippies. For now, I'm just fine with that.
I'm a bit stuck on the bead embroidery. The second half of the snap needs to be sewn on somehow but I don't remember how and am waiting to hear back from the instructor. My next bead embroidery project will most likely be a kit I bought from Beki - www.whimbeads.com - quite a while ago and never got to. Looking forward to it, though. I like kits - I don't have to endlessly agonize over choosing beads that go together.
There's been quite a bit of gardening lately. I'd put out lettuce seeds and the mesclun mix was growing beautifully. It was such fun to go out into the garden and collect lettuce for dinner - until I discovered most of the lettuce was arugula. And I really do NOT like arugula. I actually chucked it all in the yard waste and reseeded with regular lettuce. The artichokes are done for now, the second harvest in the fall is always much smaller. I still have plenty in the fridge, but, according to what I read just recently, they are past their prime. Could have fooled me, they still taste very good.
Yesterday, we went to the Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo. I was really hoping I'd find some cabochons. And I did - outrageously expensive gemstone ones. They were beautiful, but I don't need $85 tourmaline ones, no matter how great they look. So, I bought some inexpensive flat beads that'll work just as well and will try one of the Gem and Mineral Shows instead. I think I'll have a better chance there. The show was as empty (I don't mean completely empty, just nowhere near as crowded as it used to be) as it has been in the last few months. Still as many vendors, but fewer shoppers. And some of my favorites weren't there :-( I did notice quite a few more vendors selling "Bollywood" style jewelry. Many of the shoppers at this particular show have always been Indian women and the vendors are starting to cater more to them. As much as I like what I saw, it's not me.