Let me talk for a minute about younger daughter, or DD2, as I often refer to her on this blog. She is 17 and about to enter her senior year of high school. This kid, who marches to her own drummer, decided sometime around January, that she had a burning need to learn Swedish. No, there is no Swedish ancestry anywhere in either family tree. It just came out of nowhere. (For the record, both her parents are monolingual, as was she.)
She covered her bedroom with yellow stickies, labeling everything in Swedish. She downloaded the Pimsleur Swedish language course to her iPhone and practiced every day - she contacted the Pimsleur people to ask if they planned to add more advanced courses, such as they have for Spanish and Italian. (She tells me that Pimsleur is much better than Rosetta Stone or other language courses she looked into.)
She converted her computer and iPhone to Swedish. She found some Swedes online to Skype with. She read books in Swedish and watched Swedish news and television programming via the Internet. Much to my surprise, she found a Swedish preschool near my home (I didn't believe, at first, that there was a Swedish preschool near my home and I've lived here over 20 years) and she started volunteering twice a week, speaking in Swedish with the toddlers, their parents, and the teacher. She began working for several families as a babysitter, house cleaner, and errand runner, in Swedish.
She learned to speak Swedish in three months and cheerfully informed me that it's much easier to learn a language once you start thinking in it.
She then decided that she had to go to Sweden this summer. Her father donated some frequent flyer miles, and she used her savings, plus her babysitting/house cleaning money, to pay for her trip. She found a program to attend in Sweden, but also plans to do some couch surfing, some with a college friend of mine who lives near Stockholm, and also with some of the folks she has been working for here in the states who summer in Sweden.
Yes, she is going by herself.
I decided to make her a few items for her trip.
I had large chunks of sweater knit scraps left over from this Sandra Betzina sweater jacket, that I used for several of these projects.
First, I realized she could use a sleep mask. She wants to sleep on the 14-hour plane flight and can't sleep when it's light. I found this free Prudent Baby Sleep Mask pattern. I made a couple, using a rayon batik scrap from FabMo, as well as some scraps in my own stash. I have enough scraps to make 5000 sleep masks. :)
This sleep mask is reversible. It uses 2 fabrics for the front and back, fusible fleece for each side, and two pieces of 13" elastic. Easy peasy, it takes only minutes to sew.
Next, I decided she needs a u-shaped neck pillow for the flight. Rather than figure it out on my own, I bought a PDF pattern from urbansparrow. This nice little pattern includes a loop at center back (I used a piece of rayon grosgrain ribbon) so you can attach the pillow to a rolling suitcase, for example, with a caribiner - a nice little touch. This also uses the sweater knit.
I then made her a zippered pouch for makeup (or whatever) out of FabMo fabrics. It's a bit thick, so I may make her another one out of lighter weight fabrics.
It's been raining quite a bit in Sweden this summer and the weather has been on the cool side, so she wanted to take a warm scarf. I used an 18" by 44" piece of the same sweater knit to make a Koos infinity scarf, with one twist. I really like this scarf out of the sweater knit and need to make one or two for myself.
The weather in San Francisco recently has been typical "summer in San Francisco weather". Meaning it has been in the 50s and 60s, at least in my part of town, and the fog has been so thick that you almost need an umbrella, particularly when walking under trees and a gust of wind causes large droplets to pelt you. You do need to use the windshield wipers when driving. I love it.
However, this morning, while standing in line at JoAnn's waiting to buy polyfill stuffing, I heard folks complaining about the weather. I had to wonder what they were hankering for: wildfires, floods, or 106° F heat. Wherever you are, I hope you are comfortable and safe.
Barbara de Jounge - RIP
Last week I was saddened to learn of the death of one of my favorite lagenlook designers. Barbara de Jounge was a designer I truly admired. She was especially well known for her creative sweaters, often closed with her trademark giant safety pins, her interesting use of wool felt, and her clever jewelry from unusual materials.
And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the necklace she is wearing in her photo might be made from those little plastic sizing tags used on hangars at some department stores...
The photo at the top of this post is from her website. In addition to her amazing creativity, she was elegant, stunning, and incredibly gracious. She was always one of my favorite designers at Artistry In Fashion and, last year, I bought a sweater from her, as did Margy.
I am sorry I don't own more of her work.
You can learn more about her life from her obituary. She will be missed.