30 January 2013

snow and sun

Of late, the weather has been strange in the winter-scourged city; even all the way out at my little hide-away acreage. Though it is currently murderously cold and bleak under a depressingly white sky, a week or so ago, despite the -16°C and the hoar frost coating the trees, the sun was shining and the sky was clear and blue. Having made a photo record of the phenomena whilst adventuring into the field that day, I thought that now would be the best time to post such a record to my blog, to remind myself and my Canadian brethren that winter can actually be beautiful.

Not a cloud obscured the sky. The air was sharply cold, but the sun was penetrating and warm.

Up at the forest, I couldn't capture with my camera the snowflakes glittering the air, the shimmering frost, the curious cold-warmth on my face, or the sheer excitement my dogs as they revelled in the snow and sun. It was a marvelous morning excursion.

It was after going up to and briefly through the forest -and after having had our fill of icy air and sunny sky- that we set off of for home through a hallway of hoar-frosted trees.

 "Willow, tree of water nymphs, 
Don't block my way! 
Shelter the black daws in your snowy branches,
The black daws."

 Anna Akhmatova

07 January 2013

a bag for unfinished novels

The following is a blog post I made at the close of last summer, featuring my sewing process in the making of one of the few projects I completed in 2012. I never posted it. Now, however, feeling happy that my hands yielded at least one nice thing last year, I have decided to post it now, outdated though it is.

Ever since the new schoolyear began, I have accomplished nothing. I have been stuck in the middle of five unfinished novels, two half-written letters, a shoddy english assignment and an unintelligible set of math problems. Oh, and I still don't have a driver's license. 

Not only have I sorely neglected the things I should be doing, but I've neglected the things that are important to me, like the sewing projects I've wanted to work on all year [I barely managed a skirt and a pair of unfinished harem pants over the summer, with nothing to show before].

However, last Saturday--after a stressful week of lack of sleep and neglected schoolwork--I awoke with only one thing on my mind: my sewing machine. It was a stress-free concept, and I left my pile of textbooks where they were and devoted the whole of that day [and a little of the next] exclusively to French press coffee, yellow pears, banana cake, Freelance Whales, Bj├Ârk, and my talented Elna 5200.

After digging through my scraps of fabric, I decided to make a bag. Thick, purple drape material for the outside, rose-patterned cotton for the lining. I cut it out to suit a pattern I designed myself [first used to make a bag for Lizzie some time ago].

After cutting out the pieces, I started on the straps and a little pocket on the lining --wrestling a little with the direction of the roses.

Next, I sewed together the body and the lining [same shape; the latter slightly smaller than the former]; pinning in the finished straps.

Upon seaming those together with the exception of one side, I turned the bag inside out [or, I suppose in this case you could say, "inside in"].

After sewing the small hole closed and ironing the rim flat, I was finished.

The result: a bag to fit all my unfinished novels! Rather nice, yes?