Sunday, November 29, 2020

My First Alabama Chanin Corset

Well, I nearly forgot how to blog but a new comment popped up a couple of week ago hoping for a pic of the finished corset I handpainted with brown paint and a sponge several years ago, so I decided to add a pic and couldn't put it in the comments, thus a new post! Not sure where you found me, Vivine, but thanks for reading!

And this reminds me that I went with 2 of my sewing buddies, the electrophysiologist and the retinal specialist, to Alabama Chanin in September for the sewing weekend of a lifetime! Alas, I don't have the cable to upload the pics and have no idea where they're stored on the computer, if they even went to the Cloud....oh wait I found one that AC emailed me. This is the famous music studio we toured in Muscle Shoals:
We did our social distancing part and wore masks while sewing in the Factory, and an aMAZing time was had by all - I'll have to do a better post on the restaurants, the Gun-Runner Hotel which is a post unto itself, and seeing Natalie at dinner that last night at Odette's. Such good times. Anyhoo, I'll be back soon hopefully with catch-up pics of life, Hurricane Sally and its damage to the beach house where we have our own once-in-a-lifetime sewing weekends, etc. Have a good holiday!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Grand Teton & Yellowstone (Summer 2019 catchup)

Continuing the catch-up - sorry! After realizing that the National Parks in the west are amazing and we should've been skipping Disney this whole time, we decided to try Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and stayed right outside Jackson Hole, WY. One of the activities was paragliding, and why not?! YOLO, so the boys and I gave it a shot, and it's quite bracing to run straight down a steep mountain, but it literally was only about 4 steps before my feet lifted off the ground (thank you, Jesus).

Don't have any shots of Drew, but he had lots of video.

I think these are moose we saw driving through Grand Teton.

We did a couple of great hikes...

And Drew made contact with somebody using his portable Ham radio, which was pretty cool. ("CQ, CQ, CQ" - reminds me of our old CB, "Breaker Breaker 1-9!")

Oh yeah, their water comes in boxes, which is disconcerting.

This was at dinner atop a mountain - beautiful weather.

And you can rent bikes instead of hiking...

Cool shot Dean took - historic homes...

And the last day we decided to venture into Yellowstone - first stop was Old Faithful and the restroom. Totally didn't believe this was a thing, but apparently it is!

Hot springs are amazing...

Old Faithful was cool but there were TONS of people.

This is the lobby of the hotel there - very cool to read about how they built it and I think one of my college roommates stayed there but you have to reserve WAY ahead of time.

This bison was walking around the parking lot at one of the springs and you'd be shocked at the tourists who were oblivious and just walking right by him till the park rangers yelled at them. I also just saw that a woman was injured by one a couple of days ago because she got too close...some people!

Some of the falls just don't even look real in photos.

I'm blanking on the name of this particular spring, but it's like being on another planet.

Saw lots of wildlife just driving around...

This was back at our hotel watching a paraglider get ready to take off from the highest peak...

And this was a really weird painting in the lobby that I just had to get a shot of - not sure why swimming foxes are a thing, but I thought it was cool.

Yay for National Parks! Oh, I didn't get any pics of white water rafting, but that happened too - such good times!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

College Trips 2019 (Catch up)

Okay I'm trying to catch up here, so I had to go back to Spring Break for the New York-Los Angeles college tour! For some reason I only have 1 pic from NYC. We toured NYU and stayed at the Washington Square Hotel, which was amazing, ate some great food in the neighborhood, and saw Hamilton. There was this funny moment in the restaurant before Hamilton where we all went to the restroom, and this older lady who'd been dancing at her table earlier started talking to the boys about life. I ended up in tears and it was very surreal, but for the life of me I can't remember the specifics of what she said...though it did involve f-bombs. Something about Dean and me letting them grow up without micromanaging them, that they were going to be fine. Anyhoo, this was the week after Pride Week we discovered on our neighborhood walks:

Then we flew to LA to tour USC. We drove around some iconic spots...

and stayed at the coolest hotel, the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, that had the loveliest property with hidden paths and lots of villas.

Okay, this is from the epic bicycle tour we took around LA on electric bikes, and this was a famous house but I forget the name:

I believe this was Lucille Ball's house...or somebody Beverly Hills now:

And this is in Venice Beach where we stopped for lunch on the beach before making our way back.

They have the coolest trees in LA.

And this is the hotel pool. Apparently lots of musicians stayed here because there's an underground recording studio, so there are lots of photos and memorabilia of them:

This was the path to our villa with a huge ad across the street - we stayed right off the Sunset Strip.

Random shot of USC - beautiful campus!

And we got to go into the recording studio's lobby, but people were actually recording, so they just gave us a coffee mug, Tshirt, and quick speech about who all had recorded there (Lucas knew the names, I did not, but I did later learn that Duran Duran had done something there!). I thought this was a plain black mug until Drew pointed out that it changed colors when hot liquid was added - voila!

And walking around LA we encountered this in a clothing store window on Rodeo Drive - funny.

I have no recollection of a plane where they let the boys take over the cockpit, but apparently it happened.

Needs further investigation.

And Lucas ended up getting accepted to Belmont in Nashville, but this was an awesome family trip anyway!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

GCGSW #7 - the Weekend in Pictures

This was the first time EVERYONE came on Friday, and it was glorious! First because I normally go there and do a marathon cleaning session by myself, eating a solitary dinner on the porch and anxiously awaiting everyone Saturday morning. This time I cleaned the weekend before. Second is that everybody packs tons of stuff and we haul it inside with a couple of trips (or more in some cases), then load it right back up 24 hours later, which I've always thought was somewhat unsatisfactory. Thirdly, it's been frozen pizza in the past on Friday night, but with the whole entourage came a real dinner - Heidi's lasagna rollups!

And Nancy brought the most interesting cookies from Whole Foods, I believe - yum!

This was Edith's breakfast burrito, equally yummy! Did I mention that I've gained 5 pounds recently somehow?

The group has grown to 10 now, though Katrina couldn't make it, so we had to share cutting space...

and add another sewing station, which worked out well.

And between Yaffa and Trinh I think there were 4 machines, might've been 5.

Now this is Yaffa's multi-year project that she finally finished and brought to show off. There were multiple attempts to steal it, but I think she still went home with it.

Our newbie this year is Stephanie, who has never sewn in her life but is set on making an Alabama Chanin floor length skirt with corset top. I'm trying to finish that second hand-painted sock, and unknit as much as I knit, but progress was eventually made.

Lunch break was Becky's delicious shrimp and grits - mmmm, gouda grits.

Another shot of the sweatshop.

Nancy poses with her tablecloth made from fabric from 2 different countries, if I remember correctly - very exotic, like Nancy!

Robbie shows off her bathing suit coverup she whipped together from vintage lace napkins and tablecloths - clever!

Saturday afternoon snack break with deviled eggs topped with caviar - what?!

And the charcuterie and cheese trays were amazing. I must admit that I fell down as a hostess and didn't realize we were out of rum. Katrina is our usual bartender and would've never let that happen!

Edith made something like 8 or 9 prayer veils...

plus used a knitting machine type thing...

to whip out this beautiful wrap.

Trinh made several baby bibs and tried out her embroidery skills.

Ummmm, some type of yoga maneuver after Heidi's white chicken chili...don't quite remember what that was about.

I successfully put together Trinh's bagel and lox bar for Sunday breakfast, even safely slicing tomatoes and onions with nary an injury!

I call this Fashionable Jesus - another bathing suit coverup. (She's going to Jamaica soon.)

Heidi actually knitted this slipper several times then took it back to the starting point each time to try and get it to meet up with the sole.

It'll be actual wearable footwear when she finishes!

Yaffa created this bedskirt, which involved a lot of math based on her mumblings at the ironing board and sewing machine, but what a payoff!

Becky, always one of our most prolific sewers, did this entire shirt from cutting to sleeve gathers with the only thing lacking being the hem.

And this is part of Stehanie's corset. She finished a whole piece with stitching and clipping out the centers - fabulous!

This was a serious Saturday snack break observing the rain and wind.

Heidi always lightens things up!

This is just to remind me of our setup, and next time we'll set up 2 machines to the left so Robbie may have to share with Katrina. Should work out fine.

I'll leave you with a post-GCGSW shot. Becky played with single-crocheting this design on a T-shirt using dissolvable stabilizer before she packed up Sunday, and it turned out great!

Thanks to all these awesome women for the food and the friendship, and it still blows my mind that this was our 7th time doing this. Ooh, plus special shoutout to Becky for reading my last post and gifting me ANOTHER pair of fabulous embroidery scissors PLUS a yarn cutter pendant that I can wear like a necklace next time I'm knitting or sewing on a plane in Belize. I shall never be project-less again!