Day 28 / Me-Made-May 2015 / Ottobre no. 10 Sculpture

Welcome to a beautiful little spot in the wilderness the locals call Sliding Rock!  It's since been renamed Long Shoals Park, but I sort of like Sliding Rock better....
.....as that's what you're supposed to do, if you can brave the cold mountain stream..... is slide from up here.....
 ..... to down here.   Down at the bottom of the stream, you can barely see in the photo below, is a large boulder rock the really 'brave' (I use that term loosely here!) kids jump off.  The water is deeper, and the boulder is a pretty good climb up.  No sliders, nor jumpers today as I had this beautiful place all to myself.
This is the tiny, little trail that opens directly onto the rock outcroppings.  I tell you, my dear friends, I was most brave this day..... as the trail was more overgrown than I'd remembered and we've had a few cases of copperhead snake bites in our area recently, so there was lots of talking to potential snakes and making of much noise as I traversed this narrow mountain trail that leads directly down from the parking area to all the gorgeousness.
I'm wearing another new Ottobre No. 10 Sculpture top, so thought I'd talk a little bit about this pattern today.  I've now made 2 versions..... a knit....
....and a crepe de chine.
First time I'd seen this magazine at a local Barnes & Noble and what a terrific magazine it is, chock full of wonderful patterns.  Ann at Sew Baby Sew blog has made this top, as well as almost all the patterns in this issue.  She also reviewed this issue in full.  Just look for the other links at her blog.  This is the women's Ottobre Spring/Summer 2/2015 issue.
The line drawing shows No. 10, Sculpture an asymmetrical draped blouse recommending lightweight linen or well-draping viscose crepe.  Within the magazine this top's description reads "The otherwise loose-cut blouse is a snug fit around the hips."  Not sure I wanted a 'snug fit around the hips' I modified that part of the pattern, otherwise, it was made per instructions.  May I also add that it uses a mere 1 1/8 yard of fabric 60" wide.  What drew me in were the lovely pleats on one shoulder.
Be prepared for baby hems!!!!  OppKnits sent me Coletterie's 'How to sew a baby hem' that helped a lot on this top.  The instructions have you jumping straight away into a baby hem for the neckline.  The neckline is cut almost directly on the bias so it's a little tricky to keep everything laying flat.  I did a pretty good job with the mostly-stable knit here.  The sleeves are also hemmed with a baby hem.  You can see the pleat detail at my right shoulder here, and not my left, because I got it turned 'round backwards on this top.  Minor detail.  Left seam edges raw because this is knit.  This top turned out much looser than the crepe one, so I've got it tied at my waist.  Sort of added more asymetrical lines.  :)
Now let's look at the crepe de chine.  Took me two tries on the neckline and I still got two little puckers.  Sewing is teaching me that 'good enough' is 'good enough'.... so called that okay.  Here, below, is the set up for try #2..... lots and lots of pins with s-l-o-w sewing.
And here, below, is the result.  Not bad.  This was done before I'd complained discussed this neckline headache with OppKnits.  :)  This also lies nice and flat.
The crepe de chine sewed up more 'snug at the hips' and I like it.... a lot!  The looser part of the top sort of 'drapes' over the snugger fit at the hips.  For some reason the knit top did not sew up snug at the hips, but that's okay.  I'm not happy with the way the sleeves on the crepe de chine hemmed, so I've already got those stitches ripped out and will be putting in baby hems there, that hopefully will not curl.  All seams finished as french seams.
Meanwhile, I'd like to share a photo of Table Rock Mountain, located a short distance from Sliding Rock..... along with the smaller Stool Mountain in the photo below.  This area was sacred to the Cherokees who named this chain of mountains Sah-ka-na-ga loosely translated to mean 'the great blue hills of God'.  The smaller Stool Mountain was thought to be where the great God sat as he ate his food on the larger, flatter Table Rock Mountain.   This is part of the Appalachian Mountain chain.
Lovely Lake Oolenoy reflections at its base.
I'm also wearing the NEWLOOK 6192 skirt.
Hope everyone is having a good day, wherever you may be!  And thank you for letting me share a little more about beautiful South Carolina, U.S.A.!

UPDATE: I've also made a linen top. More can be read about here, including instructions on how to hand-sew a rolled hem.  A perfect technique used for the neckline of this top.


Day 26 / Me-Made-May 2015 / Towa says 'hello'!

Towa wants to say 'hello' to you today!  She wanted to say 'hello' last Friday on Me-Made-May 2015 Animal Theme Day, but my husband and I were in such a rush to leave on our trip to check on Tom's mother, that there wasn't enough time to include Towa in that day's photograph.  Her feelings have been hurt so today time was set aside for little Towa.

Soooo, we had an indoor photo shoot....
.... and even stepped outside for a few shots.  We decided the lighting was better inside.   This light just sort of washes out all that pretty Maltese fur. 
Even though Towa is a toy Maltese and all of 7 pounds, she is our guard dog.  Can you see the 'I'm on guard look' she's trying out here.  (hahahaha!!!!!)   :)
She's best at the 'I'm so cute' look.  Yep, methinks she nailed that one.  She is a social butterfly, and if you were to stop by, she'd be your new best friend!
She was my 'model' for LilyPad Quilting's Pets on Quilts Show 2014.  She was not feeling particularly 'in the modeling mood' this day..... but our entry did win a nice prize.
Maybe she just liked my Road to Oklahoma Quilt better!
A grainy old photograph from May 2006 when I brought her home for Melissa, my youngest daughter.  Towa adored my 50 pound dog Sandy and Sandy was always so careful around little Towa.  In this photo below, we had tied a little ribbon with a bell on it so we would know when she was underfoot.  She barely fit in the palm of your hand at 6 weeks old.  I'm not sure she even weighed 1 pound.  So tiny.  
When I married Tom in 2007 that added Sadie Belle, a beagle, to the mix.  All three dogs liked for Melissa to drive them around in our utility vehicle we use on our property.  Towa's riding shotgun in the front seat with Melissa here.  Welllll, probably more like in Melissa's lap.  :)
Melissa dressed her as a bumblebee one Halloween.  Sandy was glad they did not make Halloween costumes her size.  Towa has the 'I'm so embarassed.... please help me' look here.
She was our hiking dog and enjoyed exploring waterfalls and trails.  Shhh.  Please don't tell Melissa I've put these photos of her taken in 2008-2009 up, as she did not particularly care about how she looked in these. 
Our family Christmas card in 2010.  Can you see little Towa front and center?
Towa's now 9+ years old and her body does not enable her to hike with us anymore.   We have to carry her up and down stairs too now.  Sadie Belle, the beagle, died in 2011 and my sweet Sandy died 2 years ago this month.  I still miss sweet Sandy so..... but little Towa doesn't seem to mind all the extra love showered on her as our only pup now.
I hope I have been forgiven.
Almost forgot to mention..... I am wearing the Vogue 1247 top with the NEWLOOK 6246 pants.


Day 24 / Me-Made-May 2015 / Sunday Leopard Linen

It's been a whirlwind weekend with a quick trip to the Lowcountry to handle some things for my husband's 82+ year old mother, but I've been able to stay steadfast in wearing handmade clothes each day.  We returned home last night.  For today's Sunday, going-to-church outfit, I'm wearing my leopard linen Burda Skirt made from a pattern in the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, with NEWLOOK 6108's sleeveless cowl top and the recently completed cardi Pattern N, from Yoshiko Tsukiori's book 'Happy Homemade Sew Chic'.  By the way, I understand Yoshiko Tsukiori recently published a new book 'Comfortable and Stylish Clothes' and can't wait to see it available in the U.S.!!!  If you want to see other new releases of Japanese Sewing Books, or reviews and information of books already out, Japanese Sewing Books is a fantastic resource site.
Before we left for the Lowcountry on Day 22 Me-Made-May 2015, I snapped this shot, photo below, of my new 'Ottobre meets Alabama Chanin' outfit. Hope to put more info up on the blog this week as this is an interesting asymmetrical draped blouse made of crepe de chine from the 2/2015 women's Ottobre magazine #10 Sculpture.  The skirt is a 4-panel skirt traced from Natalie Chanin's book 'Alabama Studio Sewing + Design'.  Original plans were to embroider the skirt with the Alabama Chanin Climbing Daisy stencil..... and I may still do that.  The skirt is so perfect with this little top, I'm worried the embroidery might detract or look odd?  Opinions?  Please?!!!  No photos for day 23 because it was a crazy day.... but I did wear handmade clothes!  UPDATE 5.28.2015Blog post on Ottobre No. 10 Sculpture
Do you see what I see in the photo below?!  Couldn't help but catch Buster asleep in the daylilies.  He did not even open his eyes as I snapped a couple of shots.  This is his favorite place to escape from the heat..... and I don't blame him!
Hope everyone is having a good day, wherever you may be!


Day 21 / Me-Made-May 2015 / Historic Hagood Mill c. 1845

Good Morning from Historic Hagood Mill!  Who could resist an historic site complete with beautiful roses, babbling creeks and abundantly blooming mountain laurel?  Not me!  Figured this beautiful mill site would be more interesting than my boring repeat basics of a Kirsten Kimono Tee and my self-drafted/lined straight skirt.  Welcome to the mountains of Upstate South Carolina, U.S.A.! 
Hagood Mill was built around 1825 and re-built at its present location in 1845. This is the original gristmill house.
We are fortunate that folks are interested in keeping history alive 'round here, so the mill is fully operational and open to the public once a month.  You can buy freshly ground corn-meal here on those days. 
This photo is from my archive as the shadows were too great this morning.  This is the Mill-stone Memorial showcasing old used mill stones.  So cool.
The water wheel was quiet this day. 
So another photo from the archive with better lighting.
The 'quilt block' you see on the building to the right in the photo below, is called a 'barn quilt'.  It is a replica of a quilt block painted on wood to look like fabric and hung on a building.  They are quite decorative and interesting to look at.  Western North Carolina has been successful in creating a tourist destination with their 'Barn Quilt Trail' and our area is hoping to one day do the same.  There is also a pottery building on site.
This area is open to the public daily, but these buildings and mill are only opened and operational once a month when volunteers dress up and re-enact historical times.  These two building below house the textile ladies.  It is fun to see the women dressed in olden days enjoying a quilting bee.  Some months we have fiber artists with their spinning wheels.
I love old buildings and this is the back of the 2 buildings in the photo above.  They are original log cabins that were moved here and re-stored.
One of the nature trails drew me in with this archway of blooming Mountain Laurel whose soft fragrant scent filled the air. 
And what a surprise to find a replica of an original historic outhouse!  See the cut-out crescent moon?  That was not only for light.... but for.... ummm.... ventilation.  :) 
This pedestrian bridge crosses Prater's Creek..... the creek that supplies water to the mill.
And what a glorious sight to see the Mountain Laurel gracefully blooming over the muddy shoals.
Mountain Laurel up close.  Beautiful! 
There's even a Blacksmith Shop, Cotton Gin and Moonshine set-up, but this is all I photographed for today.  How nice to be able to share a little of my area with all of you!  I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of where I live.

Wishing everyone a good day, wherever you may be!


Day 20 / Me-Made-May 2015 / Magnolias & Lizards

Only mid-morning and temp is already above 81 degrees F, but it feels hotter than that.  The humidity is great this morning.  Trying to beat the heat I've already watered the gardens wearing the oh-so-cute Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 top with my cropped cargo pants from (modified) NEWLOOK 6216.  I find myself wearing these cropped cargo pants more and more and wonder why I haven't made another pair?!  Sometimes I think I cropped these a little too short.  The elastic waist along with the pockets make this a comfy pair of pants.
We have a couple of beautiful magnolias trees on our property, and this little gem is from our Little Gem Magnolia tree.  How I wish you could smell the heady scent!  My husband planted the Little Gem Magnolia around 10 years ago and we have enjoyed its prolific blooms along with its smaller profile compared to the native Southern Grand Magnolia's grand height.  Our Southern Grand Magnolia stretches way above our home's roofline and probably towers 50+' or more.  Kind of hard to measure from the ground.  :)
Do not be misled by the water droplets on this pretty oh-so-pale-pink petunia bloom, they are but from the garden hose.   We need rain desperately.  No storms, no tornadoes, just rain please.  :)
And the chicken flew over the fence again while I was out.  Seems her friend there in the background isn't too happy this pretty hen is getting all the attention.  This Aracauna hen has been mercilessly picked on by the other flock members, to such an extent I've not seen in all the 15 years I've owned chickens.  So I downsized the flock, re-homing the more aggressive hens (we do not have roosters).... and have also been putting her in our fenced-in dog pen to separate her from the abuse.  Now methinks I have a pet chicken, as when I'm out, she flies over the dog pen fence and follows me everywhere! 
And last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite lizards, the Northern Fence Lizard.  We seem to grow them big here, as this one is pretty large for its type..... as he thinks he's camouflaged on the rock.  That's St. John's Wort growing in the background to give you an idea of sizing.  With a prolific appetite for bugs, these guys are great to have on a property.  
So that's a little nature on our property this morning.  I'm planning on being inside as much as possible the rest of this day!
Hope everyone is having a good day, wherever you may be!