Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mohammed Ali Mosque Cairo

Mohammed Ali Mosque Cairo
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Obviously, this is another spot I would have loved to linger and not be with a tour group. Rory would have figured out how to get some elevation and shoot that lion. I love looking up at his mouth though. The sun was setting. We had to rush through the tour so they could close the place for the night. The light was perfect I think. A month in Cairo to take it in sounds about right. Two days was just a taste. Oh, I think my favorite thing I ate there was dove. Not a dove bar, dove meat.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pyramid Puppies Giza, Egypt

Pyramid Puppies
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I have been thinking a lot lately about what a blessed life I have. It is pretty amazing to me that I got to spend a couple of days in Cairo just a couple of months before their revolution.

The whole time I was there, I was wishing Rory could be there with me - partly because a man on my arm would have let me put my own guard down- but mainly because there was so much to photograph and so little time to do it. When we go together, we will just want a guide and not too much on the schedule. Taking our time to hang out with locals and take a million photos.

Our Egyptologist told us that the Sphinx is the most photographed place on the planet. Still I felt it was a privilege to be there. The pyramid in this photo is the oldest surviving pyramid in Giza.

In Israel, there were lots of stray cats. One of the first things I noticed in Egypt were the stray dogs. There was a 3rd pup and I wish I could have got them all, but they were on the move and so was I.

My mom is heading to Panama next month. My friend Cheryl-Anne is going to Iceland and to Europe. I'll be here sewing and remembering my big trip. Looking forward to a long season of travel in my future.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free Sewing Tutorial Yoga Mat Carrying Strap

The gym bag pattern should be ready by the end of this week. Meanwhile, warm up with this quick and easy yoga mat carrying strap project.

Materials list:

* 1.5 yards of 1” wide webbing
* 2 scraps of fabric 17” long by 5” wide
* 2 pieces of heavy weight iron-on interfacing 17” by 5” each
* 8” of 2” wide Heavy Duty Velcro

Step one- Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric following manufacturer’s instructions. (I used pre-washed cotton duck which is already a heavy fabric, so I skipped this step.)

Step two-

a. With right sides together, fold fabric in
half the long way, as shown right.
b. Mark 2 dots, each 1” from either side of
center of the fabric as indicated.
c. Using a 3/8” seam allowance,
stitch the raw edges together,
leaving a 2” opening between the dots.
d. Do this for both pieces.

Step three – Clip corners (as shown top right of photo,) turn the fabrics right sides out and press, pressing the seam allowance under in the open area.

Step four-With openings facing one another, pin the following items in place as shown below:
a. 4” of female (the softer side) Velcro at one end of each piece.
b. 3” of male Velcro on the opposite end and flip side of each piece.
c. Strap ends inserted in the openings (not twisted.)

Step five – Stitch everything in place and stitch openings closed. I used contrasting thread so you can see some different ways to do it.

To Use – Just wrap the fabric around the ends of the rolled up mat, secure with Velcro, and carry.
©2011 StudioCherie
Feel free to stitch and sell, just mention this StudioCherie tutorial

Monday, March 14, 2011

Women Writers I Admire Part 1

My friend Valerie is both a talented seamstress and a talented writer. She belongs to an online writers group and the stories she writes as a result of their prompts are delightfully nostalgic, just like her barkcloth bags and pillows. I am serious about her talent. I will not be surprised if she publishes a book of short stories. I would be the first in line to buy it. I wish she lived in Spokane and could meet with us in our writers group. I know every one of my friends there would love Valerie like I do. Take a couple of minutes to visit Valerie's blog and enjoy a story or two. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something I forgot to say about my journal

My sewing journal. The interesting thing about documenting my process chronologically is that I will be able to go back a year from now and see how and why I interrupted myself. I will be able to evaluate whether this is a good way to move forward. My instinct is that it is good because my furniture work informs my bag work and clothing requires other details and attention that affect the furniture and bags. The gym bag I was hoping to put out in February got interrupted by mitts, a kindle cover, several skirts, a dress, a shrug, a new photography set up, and about a dozen sketches I have not had time to sew up. The positive side of that is that I have been able to use my gym bag prototype for several weeks and have been working up changes to the final design based on how it works. Rather than charging through the design process one project at a time, things are allowed to simmer and take on a life of their own. Somehow this works for me. So when I get back to my journal in the morning to pick up on the gym bag, I will have to page back to find where I left off. I might need to number my pages... My next page could say gym bag continued from page...

Sewing Journal

While my story writing suffers at the moment, my sewing journal is getting filled fast. This year, I am even dating my entries. I decided to go ahead and use the journal from left to right and fill it up one page at a time with all my notes for sewing projects. I know this sounds elementary to some of you. If it does, you don't share the love of random and chaos that fuels my creativity. In previous years, I have tried to organize myself by having subject driven journals. Alas, the proper subject journal was not always handy, so notes on slipcovering were scrawled on sheets of paper that were later added to the furniture journal. These loose notes would then fall out into my bag at some point to be collected about 4 months later when I cleaned out the bag and put back into the proper journal as soon as I could locate which bag contained the furniture journal. Repeat this process for my bag journal, clothing journal, writing journal, random idea journal, and business journal.

I am using one from ScarletFig. I feel extra cool since one of her journals was just featured on design*sponge.

Monday, March 7, 2011

writing and reading and just taking notes sometimes

I like to write. I think all of us who blog have that in common. Unlike Jane Austin -I am sure she would have blogged, right? - I do not have a room of my own. I share everything with my husband and children. I have no place to lock myself away for hours or minutes on end to just ponder and write. I have even taken to saying, I am going to the bathroom now, don't anyone follow me! I find the best place to pull my thoughts together is on the treadmill at the Y. It was there this morning that the idea occurred to me to go ahead and list some of the things I will include in stories one day. Some writers have files of notes they can refer to, I will have my own blog.
On Mothers Day, I will be reading a rare (and therefore, valuable) story from my own life as a mother. The event is called Listen to Your Mother. Click on the link to see their blog, event details, and the list of women who were chosen to read at the event. I spent some time the other day clicking through the list to read the blogs there, and I can tell you this will be a memorable event. If you are near Spokane, bring your mother to hear us and laugh and maybe cry too. I am humbled to be a part of this.
Notes for today:
My own thoughts on domestic life-
A house is just a house. It's the people that make it an insane asylum.
If I hired a housekeeper, it would not save me any time, but I would have a clean house.
On Philosophy-The narcissist sees everything is about them.
The reflective person sees themselves in everything.
The deep person sees beyond themselves in everything.
The creative person sees other ways in everything.
Places I go where I am glad I no longer have pre-schoolers-
The grocery store
The beach
An airplane
The car
The shower
On being creative-
One word, Everyday

Friday, March 4, 2011

Everything is New in Spring

The robins returned to my yard the other day (while it was snowing.) Ways that I celebrate the return of Spring-

Enjoy the birdsong. Add something new to my wardrobe. Learn to play an instrument (mine is actually a penny whistle - kids are on the guitar.) Get a journal and use it. (check) Some redecorating.(of course) Spring cleaning and oraganizing.(I will get to it!) Exercise in the fresh air. Use fresh ingredients. Design a new line...coming next month!

Another one for you. Be encouraged. Read the words posted here and imagine they were written just for you. Breathe them in. Be encouraged...