Friday, November 20, 2015

Halloween 2015: The solo edition

So this Halloween had great promise. It wasn't all bad but I was so excited about going to a party and figuring out a costume to make and wear, but sadly I never made it.. I don't usually make plans or get dressed up but the times that I have, I've had a great time so when I can I really try to!  Since having to live a bit further away from the island however it's been difficult to go to fun things due to last bus constraints and next-day work obligations. I've been graced by lovely humans who let me sleep over, but it's a lot of back and forth and carrying bags and bags of things, so I prefer to plan out my routes when I can. I thought I had it all figured out for that night though, but miscommunication and no more data on my phone led to me solemnly travelling back home late at night..

But let's talk about the fun part! I was invited by a very lovely friend to a gathering of ghouls and immediately started thinking about what/who I should dress up as..

I was browsing the internetz when a picture of Beetlejuice popped up and I thought YES! I've always wanted to dress up as Lydia! Question was, which outfit?.. I had something in mind for the one where she initially investigates her new home and finds the ghosts, but it wasn't complete. I could carry my camera around as part of the costume and randomly take pictures, which I planned to do anyway, so there was that.

Then I thought about her red wedding dress outfit and realized I had the perfect dress pattern that could go with the theme. It's not exactly the same as the original in the movie but I could just add a whole bunch of tulle and I should be ok. I also had a really quick flash of a Beetlejuice doll I could make as a prop and drew a quick sketch so I wouldn't forget it. The final result wasn't too far off!

Working on the dress and a lil beetlejuice sketch.

Process pics of the Beetlejuice doll. It was exciting to see it come together so quickly. I also traced patterns of the shapes in case anybody else would want to make him, too.

Tada! Little bunch of green stuff at the corner of his mouth is a touch I'm quite proud of.

Looking very un-well rested despite my face being covered in makeup. I did use purple eye shadow under my eyes to accentuate my naturally occurring bags. The youtube tutorials I found were very helpful. My result turned out a bit different but wearing the outfit + makeup felt/looked great!

So although Halloween 2015 was a bit of a bust, I'm keeping my hopes up for the next one and ideas are already starting to brew :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yesterday I had an absolutely fantastic evening. My friend and I  made plans to meet up since we were both free and she mentioned a place I had heard about before and had made a mental note to visit but then completely forgotten about in the last couple of months.. That is until she said "Why don't we go to the Cat Café??"

And I said yessss!!!! Of couuuurse!!!! And so we went.

We met up a bit earlier in the day and walked around downtown visiting a clothing store (Anthropologie), and then a book store (Indigo Books) to look at some pretty things and catch up. Then we arrived at Sherbrooke metro station, which was closest to the Happy Cat Café (Café Chat l'heureux), it was about a 15 minute walk from the metro stop. It was getting cold and we were eager to have a seat and have something to eat. And to see the kitties! 

Stopped to take a picture of a window with various graffiti and stickers. Recognized Stela Starchild's work among it.

Finally,  we arrived!

 We were immediately welcomed with a feeling of such warmth and coziness.

There was also a guestbook in the first entrance where people could leave notes (or super cute drawing in this case).

The cash/desk was beyond adorable..

With steps and shelves for the cats to hang out on and various trinkets to buy for cats and cat-lovers alike,

A little lounge chaise and a portrait photo of one of the cats, Milady,

The column had steps for the cats to climb and in the top right there was a Plexiglas walkway for the cats as well.

Here we see a Mr. Dappercat with his yellow bowtie,

Miss Luna and Luzerne, also known as fluffyfluff and cowcat.

Looking over the menu and admiring the interior decoration, which was totally my cup of tea. I need those cat pillows they're so perfect.

All the cats were relaxed and sleepy and kept to their resting spots. One of the kitties, Luzerne (the youngest) was more curious and would investigate the surroundings, even nestling in between two ladies who were chatting on one of the long couches. Every now and then you hear a squeal and a "Oh my god, so cuuute".

Me with my lentil soup (YUM) and being super ecstatic about being in amongst the glorious cats.

When our order arrived, Luzerne popped up out of nowhere to make sure we were satisfied with our food. Then just as quickly as he had appeared he disappeared back to another spot of the café.

Close-ups/picture time.

Bottom cat is our faces when we tried the brownie. It's worth mentioning that all the vegan and gluten free options are identified on the menu.

Also, next to our table there was a book shelf with all sorts of books on cats. This place is literally cat heaven.

My friend modeling a cat hat/scarf/paw thing I quickly made from a Simplicity pattern I got at work (although we don't carry that manufacturer anymore) at the sewing lab in my old school before meeting up.

We stayed until closing time which was 8pm, this little fluff parked himself on a table near the cash and let us pet him for a little bit. His little pawsies are so cute.

And to commemorate the first visit, my friend and I each got ourselves a little ring that was sold at the front desk. We were officially cat blessed by the powers that be.

Last view of the logo and the wall-of-live-in-cats.

And it looks like two more will be joining soon!

Final rating: 10000/10

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A few days before Halloween, two lovely friends of mine whom I have known for many years came by to my studio for a little cooking and sewing lesson. We had talked about having a craft day for a while and were finally able to set up a day to do so. They even brought little puppy poo, my new best friend.

Another friend had shown me how to make onigiris a few years ago and since then I've been making them every so often simply because they're so easy and fun to make. So I decided to pass along the knowledge and we spent the first part of the day making onigiris with different fillings such as tuna, egg, seaweed, etc.. The results were an adorable and delectable success.

Next we worked on some reversible tote bags. I first learned how to make them through my previous job and have continued teaching it to many people afterwards. It's a really easy and fun way to learn how to use the sewing machine and end up with an original and useful bag. 

Poo was pretty pooped, we worked well into the late evening. We even had to order some pizza because we started to get hungry, the onigiris were digested long ago..

This little prince is so sweet, but he has a bark and a bite!

I had found some amazing glass stickers for our drinks at the dollar store.

Poo poo with his momma, look how happy he is!!

And voila! Two gorgeous ladies and their gorgeous bags!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

T's Prom dress!

For about two months and a half, one of my students and I worked on a pretty big project: her High School graduation prom dress! Although I've been an off and on (more on in the last couple of years) autodidact sewer since I was 10, I've never sewn a full gown/dress/outfit. Actually that's not true.. the first dress I ever sewed for myself was a frilly nightgown, using leg and arm pieces of flannelette my father had brought home from a service call at a pyjama-making textile factory. I had a little bit of experience hand sewing for my Barbie dolls and thought why not make something for myself? It took me weeks but I was SO proud. I have no idea where that thing is now!

Sewing proper clothes has always been on my to-do list however, even though it seemed a bit daunting and complex. Ironically, when I was 18, I also tried sewing my own grad dress, but failed so miserably at following a pattern and gave up when the bodice didn't fit.

Since 2012 I've been teaching the basics of sewing to a small amount of students during private lessons. Previously I worked at a shop and atelier where I taught the basics of sewing as well to small workshop groups. I don't really advertise about being a sewing teacher because I live quite a bit far away from the island and my current part-time job and lessons eat up a lot of my time prep and travel wise. Despite, word got around, and last fall I met my new student, T (name kept for privacy, also why her face is blurred in the photos). We started with simple projects and very soon she wanted to sew an outfit for a school assignment. Although her skill-level wasn't quite at the point yet where she could sew clothing on her own, because I was able to guide and help her (and do a bit of the sewing myself) we proceeded and the results were great. We made an adjustable gold sequins tie, a short-sleeved white blouse with a short collar, and a black stretchy fitted long-sleeved dress. 

Then her eyes were set on an even bigger project: her prom dress! I was a bit worried at first, but was assured that we would choose a simple design. Sewing clothes is never simple though, it is a true labour of love, especially when made with a domestic sewing machine, there are certain limitations. I didn't doubt my ability but I knew it would be a time-consuming project to produce with a beginner sewer. The initial steps of cutting out the pattern and the test pieces were all done by T with a bit of help from me. Eventually I had to step in as half seamstress/half sewing teacher since the deadline was approaching and there were growing concerns that we wouldn't finish on time.

Luckily we did :)

We followed the VOGUE 1434 pattern and it was T's idea to make it into a two-piece and forget the belt. We used silver sequins mesh for the top and lined it with blue broadcloth. We used blue taffeta for the skirt and accented it with a ribbon trim of crystals.

Her final fit was pure magic.

Altogether it was quite the adventure and I learned that I can most definitely sew fancy dresses and that I actually really enjoy it.

This most likely won't be the last one!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Popcorn and crepes!

Finally came around to making another book. For this one I used a colourful popcorn fabric that we sell at the store, as well as a small drawing I had digitally printed on some silk ages ago. I also threw in a bit of ribbon and lace in there for good measure. My fingers froze from how bitingly cold it is at the moment up here in the Arctic, but I somehow managed to use my lovely fabriano paper to make this sketchbook and whip up a batch of crepes for an unsuspecting person :).

Have a great weekend~


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