Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Tools for the Creative Process

I wasn't sure what my first project would be after returning from DOL. I spent much of Sunday relaxing and sleeping. Then, Sunday evening, it came to me.

I knew my first task.

At the retreat, Diane had mentioned how useful it is to have a design board. Back when I was quilting I had a flannel wall, but that was long gone.

I googled how to make a giant design board and found this tutorial.

The search for foam core insulation involved three hardware stores (my local hardware store and the first Home Depot didn't carry it). Luckily, the further-away Home Depot is open on Sunday night until 9pm, so I wasted no time jumping into the van.

I had no idea just how big a 4'x8' piece of foam core insulation is.

It's big.

Here was my process:

  • Search the endless aisles for sheets of foam core insulation. Employee #1 helped me find it and told me they would cut it if I needed it.
  • Purchase the foam core insulation. Sales person told me they would cut it if I needed, "just bring it back to the saw."
  • Hoping it fits, carry foam core insulation to van, trying not to take flight in the process.
  • Attempt to force unwieldy object into van.
  • Fail.
  • Go back to store. Someone (I can't remember who) had told me they would help me tie it to the top of my van. But when I went back, customer service told me they would give me twine but, for liability reasons, would not tie it.
  • Find the hidden bucket and help oneself to yards and yards of free twine.
  • Tie to top of van. Tied too tight, causing the twine to cut deeply (12" or so) into the insulation. No problem, it will be covered by fabric.
  • Passerby gives suggestions on how to tie it. Suggestions taken.

  • Get into van and drive about 30 feet. Board snaps in half and the front half is now "skiing" behind van.
  • Re-park. Smile at the passersby who find this scene highly amusing.

  • One half will now fit into van. The other half is still too big and both halves now have a very raggedy edge.
  • Take both halves back into store and head back to the saw.
  • Meet up with Employees #2 and #3, who vociferously tell me they will not cut it. I vociferously insist. It turns out that there was a basic miscommunication. They thought I wanted them to cut it with the saw, which could damage the saw. I did not care how it was cut.
  • Employee #2, with attitude, uses a box cutter to trim the too-big half and "even up" the edge of the smaller half. Both raw edges are now fairly uneven, but no matter.
  • Return to van (it is now dark), place two halves inside, and return home.

I covered the two halves with an old set of cream-colored flannel sheets and lots of white duct tape. I hung both halves from the picture rail in my sewing room, using the free twine.

I didn't notice, at first, that the printing on the foam core insulation (which is only on one side) shows through the flannel.
Oh well.

From watching Diane and Marcy work, it became apparent to me that I could use a dress form. I've been resisting a dress form for several reasons. And, to be honest, I had a dress form buried in my garage.

I dug it out (no small feat) and cleaned off the cobwebs.

Well, mostly.

I used this Athena form when I sewed 20 years ago. At one time, it wore bra that was stuffed, and I was thinner back then, though I never had a waist like that.

The dress form is now back in circulation.

Diane suggested that you make your form the same height as you. Luckily I am not too tall. Even though it doesn't reflect my shape, it will be useful for shaping a collar and taking photos.

And I couldn't beat the price.

Australian Stitches Magazine

On another note, a couple readers told me some months ago that my blog was featured in Australian Stitches Magazine, volume 20 no. 9. Sandra V, who lives in Australia, managed to snag me a copy from the publisher.

The very cool thing is that they also featured two blogs I like very much, Margy's and Jane's.

Thanks so much, Sandra!!

P.S. If you aren't familiar with Sandra's work, you should be. She posts her reviews on Pattern Review. You may need a PR account to see her reviews, but a free account works. I am a huge fan of her work.