rose_griffes: (Default)
Sunday, March 15th, 2015 08:46 pm
Author Terry Pratchett died last week. While I don't have the level of fannishness about his books as many of my friends (RL and online), he was still a favorite of mine.

Related topic, I've now read all eight books in the Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire. Which means I'm stuck waiting for book nine.

Also read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It was... not like anything else I've read. Some romance, a bit of history, several assassin nuns, and a surprisingly interactive god of death. I've already downloaded book two, which apparently switches to the POV of a minor character in book one. Which definitely means more assassin nuns.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan, is a YA novel set after a zombie apocalypse. Sadly heavy on the love quadrangle and light on the whole survival thing. Too bad; the author did some compelling world-building, but the characters themselves didn't really interest me.

Hey [personal profile] chaila, I've read three of the Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner. The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. They're interesting, though I want more of the women's POV. Maybe after I read book four I'll look for some fanfic.

TV: series three of The Great British Sewing Bee has been so much fun. Thanks for letting me know it was airing, DB. I haven't watched the finale yet, but I'm pretty sure about who's going to win. This season has been a delight because several men participated, and talked regularly about how much they liked sewing for the women in their lives.

(Real life sewing: I made a trial run garment of a blouse last week... good thing, too, because the pattern needed some adjustments. So now I have the pretty fabric cut out, and just need to sew it.)

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a new series on Netflix and mild spoilers, my reaction )

Agent Carter finished its eight-episode run. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and hope that it will be renewed. The shorter format may have worked in its favor, so if they go with another tiny season, I won't be too upset.
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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 06:00 pm
Hi! *waves* Alternating between "Yeah, things are fine" and "Bleh, depression is the worst" lately. But I have done some TV-watching, so here's a quick update on that:

Sleepy Hollow )

Jane the Virgin )

Person of Interest has fallen in the ranks. It's now a show I watch while multi-tasking. It hasn't fallen to the 'grading papers' category, but I've been browsing Tumblr or Facebook while watching the last two episodes. *sigh* Hard to believe that this is the same show that interested me enough to write a multi-chapter fic.

I accidentally gave up watching The Flash. Turns out I somehow recorded the not-HD versions of recent episodes, and so far I haven't cared quite enough to hunt those episodes online. Maybe I'll catch up this summer. I do like the actors playing the leads, Grant Gustin and Candice Patton. Mostly I like seeing them looking pretty and smiling, which I can do by looking at Tumblr while watching Person of Interest.

Still watching Elementary and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Other stuff! I like button-front blouses, but so many of them that have sleeves (I do like sleeves) have long sleeves, or worse, three-quarter sleeves. From Friday night until today, I've altered the sleeves of four shirts and one dress. They all have short sleeves now, with some variation to them.

Coming up next in the sewing department: I need to finish my little project for the kiddos I teach in Sunday School, and I need to try a different pattern for a blouse I want to make. Trial run garment first, because I don't want to waste my pretty pretty fabric. I already did one trial run garment (over Christmas break)... and it was a good thing, too, since that pattern didn't work for me. :(
rose_griffes: Olivia, Walter and Peter from TV's "Fringe." (fringe)
Sunday, April 13th, 2014 06:27 pm
Hi, I'm still here, though I haven't been around much the last week or so. If I missed commenting on your post and I should have, I was cleaning, hosting a guest, grading papers, and experiencing a sudden resurgence of the sewing virus.

As for that, my next project is to work my way through the pile of jeans, trousers, and skirts that need elastic inserted in the waistband. Which is the easy way to get rid of that gap I nearly always have at the back waist of clothing. (I can post more about that, if anyone is curious. It's not complicated at all.)

Anyway, here are a couple of sewing links: a lot of free clothing patterns. These are from Lekala, a Russian pattern company. They offer a service where they'll tailor a pattern to your measurements, but you can try out a few the non-adjusted patterns for free.

25 awesome DIY blogs for the refashionista. While I do plan to sew some garments from scratch this year, my main sewing activity is modifying and altering existing clothing. I'm usually fairly conservative: my trousers remain trousers, or maaaaaaybe shorts. But there are people out there doing amazing things with clothes, like making a long tartan skirt into a cute short dress, two pairs of trousers and a skirt into an entirely different skirt, or this fantastic peplum dress made from a man's shirt.

Other topic! Typefaces that are more user-friendly for people with dyslexia.

And lastly, Texts from Jane Eyre, which made me laugh and laugh. Of COURSE Rochester texts in all-caps.
rose_griffes: Leslie Knope loves her pancakes (pancakes)
Thursday, September 12th, 2013 05:58 pm
Hi! *waves* I've been feeling a bit swamped with the new school year, but my brain has been nicer about it than last year, so that's a plus. In other words, some of the depression-related stuff is not so bad right now, in spite of stressful situations. Which is good.

At some point last spring I declared that I was going to alter at least five items of clothing in May. Pretty sure I missed doing that before the end of May, but I did do several sewing-related things over the summer: sliding elastic inside the waistband of a few jeans and trousers, fixing some tears and hems, etc. I even sewed a couple of new shirts, using a really simple pattern. The second one turned out quite cute, if I say so myself. (And it was made from a curtain panel and men's XL tee-shirt, whic makes it weird unique.) I haven't done any pics yet because my current camera doesn't take good pics when I use the timer. Maybe I should dig out the older camera and try that instead.

Anyway. Media stuff now:

Finished reading The Gift of Asher Lev, and I'm not sure what I think. I sort of knew how the end was going to work out, and I don't know if I like it or not. Potok's writing style is catchy, which makes me want to take my current stuck-on-this-and-can't-finish fic idea and rewrite the whole thing in first person present tense.

Maybe that's why I'm so stuck on the fic, come to think of it. Heh. (I really don't plan to rewrite it in first person present tense.)

Reading Potok's work so soon after The Poisonwood Bible was an exercise in frustration at times, because PB had the voices of four women alternating throughout the story. Asher Lev only had Asher's voice. I wanted to know what the other characters were thinking and feeling, especially Asher's wife and mother.

I've started watching Scandal--through episode 2.03 so far--and I'm certain that the way I appreciate it is NOT what the show creators intended. It's a soap opera/procedural, and Olivia Pope is the center of the show. She's been labeled (by herself and others) as a white hat, but I don't believe it. She's trying to do the right thing (I think? by her definition of it, anyway), but at this point I find myself rooting for (former) district attorney dude to find out all the laws she's broken and bring her to justice.

Also, the show's favorite couple is my anti-couple, the pair I find completely ridiculous to the point of actually yelling at my TV screen when they're together. Hee!

It really is fun in a sudsy, over the top way. What makes it perfect, though, is that enough of the information is verbal that I can grade papers while 'watching'. Which is why I'm moving forward with it instead of deleting it from my Netflix queue.

Scandal has edged out Longmire and Nikita in recent viewing for the simple reason that I actually like the other two enough to watch, and I haven't had time lately.
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Monday, April 29th, 2013 05:20 pm
I finished cleaning the craft area of the spare bedroom. Since I haven't had guests in that room for a while, it had... devolved. In fact, it was a two-Saturday job. But now it's clean! And I can do projects! Like sewing!

Current goal: alter* or sew at least four items in May. I'd love to start tonight, in fact, but after dinner I'm going to tackle some papers to grade. ::sigh::

*Altering can be simple and easy, or it can be the worst idea ever and cause you to throw the garment in the trash in disgust.

Related to the topic, I'm embedding the first episode of the very recently aired The Great British Sewing Bee. It's a reality show that I actually enjoyed; the contestants were there to sew their way to winning the show title. I just finished the episode, and knowing what I know about sewing, I could feel myself tensing up in sympathy several times as the various deadlines approached. The first episode had three challenges: sew an A-line skirt, modify a plain blouse, and sew a dress--pattern of the contestants' choice--to fit a live model.



If the embedded version doesn't work, here it is on YouTube.
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rose_griffes: Freema Agyemang wearing a gorgeous green dress (Freema: green dress)
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 05:35 pm
Hm, I haven't done a good clothing rant in a while, have I? And that's about all I feel like talking about--at least in a public post. So here goes!

I just received a clothing order from Lands' End. (Yes, the apostrophe is wrong--it's been wrong since they started their business and a publisher messed it up on some of their earliest printed material.) I've been ordering clothes from them since... hm, maybe while I was still in college? They had swimwear that didn't have those high-cut legs back when that was all anyone else had, so it's been a very long time. I've grown--gained weight, I should say--since then. But the size I order for trousers and skirts is still the same number. And today I found that I can't keep any of the shirts I ordered because they're too big.

UGH, I hate vanity sizing. Lands' End isn't even the worst offender. With some brands I actually wear a smaller size than when I was in college. How is that even possible when my waist is two inches bigger?! It makes me wonder if I'll eventually have to buy sizes in the negative numbers while weighing even more. I know I'm slender for an American woman*, but THIS IS RIDICULOUS. (I don't think size inflation is a problem in Europe, but I could be wrong.)

Not really ranty, but remember those adorable Clark's ankle boots that I loved? They've already been imitated by Old Navy. Three and a half inch heels and faux suede? I'm glad I ordered the Clark's boots**, even though they cost a whole lot more. I can't wait for cooler weather so I can wear them.

Scratch that. I just can't wait for cooler weather. IT'S TOO HOT.

On to non-ranty clothing stuff. Possibly my next sewing project: making a knock-off of this sweater. No need for boiled wool, though. I'd just use a grey tee-shirt and slice it up the front, then use more grey jersey fabric for the detailing. Oh, and add in some darts to make it more fitted.

I'm also thinking about this gorgeous stenciled skirt. Wouldn't something like that be lovely with a black skirt and red flowers? I'd probably just use acrylic paints with fabric medium mixed in, rather than buying the fabric ink recommended in that post. I already own the paints and fabric medium, so I just need to choose the right skirt.

I do have some sewing and craft projects I've finished recently, but 1) I'm too lazy to post them here right now and 2) I'm considering starting a separate blog for sewing and craft stuff anyway. Livejournal really isn't the cool hang-out for the sewing crowd. Heh.

*The NHLBI says I'm in the average range, for whatever that's worth.

**The ankle boots are cheaper with Amazon.com than anywhere else I've found, at least in black suede.
rose_griffes: Freema Agyemang wearing a gorgeous green dress (Freema: green dress)
Sunday, May 15th, 2011 04:37 pm
I finally gave up on the idea of writing Peter Bishop fic and started watching Fringe again. Sorry, Peter! More on Fringe after I have a few more episodes to talk about.

In the meantime, before my camera died I took some pictures of outfits that fit under my personal Me-modified-May challenge. The idea was for me to wear something at least three times a week that I had either made or modified from its state when I purchased it. If I can revive the camera (or if I buy a new one soon enough) I may make another post. In the meantime, here's what I've chronicled so far:
blue dress #1 )

weekend shorts )

red skirt )

paisley print skirt )

cowboy boots! )

blue dress #2 )

Way easier to buy stuff at the thrift store and alter them than to sew something from nothing. Well... at least most of the time. Maybe I'll get some sewing done this summer.

Since the camera is (temporarily?) dead, you'll just have to imagine the knee-length princess-seamed linen dress in coral. (It was originally the color of concrete and came to about mid-calf; I dyed it and cut off the hem.)
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rose_griffes: Freema Agyemang wearing a gorgeous green dress (Freema: green dress)
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 06:15 pm
I am sitting here feeling generally pleased with life. I think it's a temporary high induced by "Yay, tomorrow is Friday" plus knowing that I get to go fabric-shopping this weekend! Wooohoooo!

Yes, this has to be rationed out. Much like the urge to buy all the clothing ever (especially at the thrift store). But I'm allowed to shop when I have a plan and there are sales.

What plan, I hear you ask? (Okay, not really. But I'm going to tell you anyway.) Look at this blouse. I have been admiring brocade and sari fabrics for years, but I've never had a feasible plan for a garment that I would actually wear. I'd wear a version of this blouse, and I already have that pattern.

Also, I want to make a black skirt, and I need some lace tape to finish the red skirt that's almost done. (Again.)

As for non-sewing stuff:

1) what would happen if Three (D'Anna Biers) met Ten (the Tenth Doctor)? I am wildly curious about your opinion.

2) I love love love "Bright Morning Stars," the new album by the Wailin' Jennys. Three-part harmony by amazingly capable female vocalists!

3) Time to rewatch episode 1.04 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. My turn to (co-)write a recap this weekend.
rose_griffes: Moon and trees (moon and trees)
Monday, October 11th, 2010 08:49 pm
two random links (related to Mormonism)
Interesting discussion about fictional feminist icons over at Feminist Mormon Housewives. I feel like I should defend Emma Woodhouse (not as a feminist icon, but as a character I enjoy reading about), but I'd have to agree with most of the commenters and say that Elizabeth Bennett should be on the list instead, if we're going to choose an Austen character as a feminist icon. I have a list of authors to try next time I'm at the library thanks to the comments there. (It's not often that there are fandom-related discussions at this site. I might have to comment instead of lurk.)

American atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored highest on a survey about religious knowledge. I'd be more proud if the questions weren't so easy. (Seriously. Check out the fifteen question version. I got 14 out of 15. Messed up on the Great Awakening. I'm curious what else was on the longer 'official' survey.)

sewing and fashion links:
If you want to try to salvage a boxy, too-big tee-shirt and make it more fit for the female body, check here for tips.

'Mom jeans and the dreaded long butt'--a humorous post about finding jeans that are flattering to the posterior.

Sally (Already Pretty) asks how can we reclaim traditionally feminine dressing?

Yeah, placing this link just after the previous one is a bit ironic, but oh well: You don't have to be pretty.

Cheap and Picky asks does sewing save you money? (probably not if you're skilled at finding clothes at the thrift store, but it's still a good read)

What every crafter needs: the Craft Clock. Hah!

Interesting thoughts on age-appropriate dressing.

I may have linked to this before, but New Dress a Day is worth another visit. Marisa takes one thrifted item of clothing (that cost only a dollar) and does something to make it more attractive--every day for a year.
rose_griffes: Moon and trees (moon and trees)
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 07:19 pm
[personal profile] daybreak asked me some questions about sewing, and I thought I'd just write a short(ish) post to talk about it.

sewing and me )
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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 04:56 pm
Things I have done today:

-drowned multiple plants by accident
-flung vinegar at insects (on purpose, though I'm really not sure what good it did)
-discovered that part of the problem with my sewing machine was me

Yeah. My sewing machine was dropping stitches now and then. Yesterday I dusted the interior, oiled it and it still dropped stitches. Today I was doing a bit of online sewing blog surfing and I stumbled across this helpful tip: change the sewing needle every time you start a new project. Dull needles can cause dropped stitches.

I don't remember when I last changed my sewing needle. Suffice it to say, it's been a good long time. I'd sort of forgotten about the importance of that step during the years I wasn't doing any sewing.

And guess what?! No more dropped stitches.

In celebration, here are two recently completed dress projects I just posted at [livejournal.com profile] sew_hip.
rose_griffes: (Default)
Monday, June 28th, 2010 08:07 pm
Battlestar Galactica fic rec: [livejournal.com profile] shah_of_blah has written another gorgeous Kara/Lee story, in four parts. The Breath Between. AU from the end of season three, but a very convincing reworking of what could have happened if one thing was different at the beginning of season four... Go read it! It's complete, and each chapter has a link to the next at the bottom.

I can't stop bookmarking webpages about sewing. There are so many fantastic sites! Individual blogs about sewing, crafting tutorials, etc. My new favorite has to be The Selfish Seamstress, just for the humor factor. As for the tutorials, look at this adorable shrug! One old tee and a bit of ribbon plus five minutes of sewing. I'm trying that as soon as I decide what kind of ribbon to use for the tie.

Ugh, I'm trying to decide on a new cell phone. Somebody tell me what to buy and put me out of my misery! I went to the local AT&T store and after looking at five different phones I decided I was in sensory overload. Blargh. (QWERTY keyboard appreciated but not necessary, 'cause I rarely text. Touch screen okay, but also not necessary. Internet access... well. It would be nice to be able to get to things like Google maps, but on the other hand, I spend too much time online anyway. Not having internet on my phone might be better. Notice a theme here? Indecision, that's the theme. How am I supposed to decide on a phone when I don't even know which features I really want?)

I had something else I was going to say. Talking about cell phones has driven the idea out of my head.

eta: Hah, I remembered! awesome outfit seen at church yesterday )
rose_griffes: (Default)
Friday, June 25th, 2010 05:34 pm
I keep sewing stuff. There's nothing fabulous and new to show for my efforts, but my adorable black skirt with the white trim has a much more flattering length and I have two more pairs of shorts (that were formerly trousers). My denim skirt actually fits well at the waist for the first time ever. Oh, and my poor embroidered blouse from Ecuador that was too small is now part of a pillowcase. The other embroidered blouse I bought in Ecuador is now slightly more fitted.

My sewing machine seems to think it's being abused. I'm guessing that the timing is off. Since it's an inexpensive Singer, this isn't surprising. I may have to look into buying a new machine. A better machine. (Getting the timing fixed is almost half the cost of a new Singer.) Or possibly I should stop the sewing binge for now and switch to a beading binge, since I have lots and lots of unfinished beading projects I can work on.

I keep saying I'm going to work on writing some fic, but that's not happening yet. Hm.

*looks at time* Ooops, need to hurry...

eta: You know, doing things like converting trousers to shorts are those ten-minute jobs. Which means it takes two hours and a trip to Home Depot Hobby Lobby to finish. These "little" adjustments are never as quick as I'd like, which is why I tend to save them up and do them in the summer. Of course, that means not being able to wear most fruit of my labor until work starts again. I hate waiting for the right time to wear new (or newly revised) clothes. I want the right time to be NOW.