Fifteen-star night

almost morning

almost morning

Every photo has a voice, but they don’t all speak my language. This week’s photo challenge is to share a picture taken at night. This one (not retouched except for the blog name added), was taken sometime between 4:30 and 5 a.m. overlooking the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. We’d been driving all night, and needed a break. This was the vista that refreshed us.

I looked at many other entries (229 so far – true story!!). Some I could see but just could not hear. A few crooned, one or two shouted, many whispered; these are the fifteen I heard most clearly. For me, these were the stars of the night.

  1. These shots on Joy Returns inspired me to try again. I’ve never successfully photographed the moon, although I’d like to…just once in a blue moon. *groan* sorry – I had to say it.
  2. The photo taken from the White Tank Mountain Regional Park on  Journeys with johnbo was bittersweet. I remember spending much time there with my late husband (a native Arizonan). That photo brought back very good memories.
  3. The photos on Eyes to Heart are as close as I’ll ever get to the dream of visiting Italy.
  4. The snow at night on An upturned soul whispered a welcome. Read her description – it’s is as beautiful as the photo.
  5. Summerfield84’s English Blog made me look twice and listen hard. Just LOOK at that reflection! It was like getting two photos for the price of one – and I do love a bargain!
  6. Steve Says…something I ponder often while people-watching. Where are all those people going? What are their lives like? The light around that street lamp looked like it was coming through frosted glass.
  7. On Exploratorius, the sand dunes and the sky – oh my! It reminded me of a fun trip to the Florence Dunes on the Oregon coast with my best friend.
  8. Following My Joy brought real joy to these ol’ eyes. I’ve been to Port Hueneme, but I’m not sure I’ve been to this particular beach.
  9. On a blog called iChristian, my favorite was the cross on the hill with the sunset on the water. It sang, “The Lord gives life its beauty, and without Him there is no life, no beauty.”
  10. This one on Broken Light: A Photography Collective was crisp and clear, but not what really spoke to me. The artist was watching for the sky to turn black as night approached. “But instead, it kept on lighting up and glimmering, as if the sunny skies were fighting back the night….I remember wondering how a battle could be that beautiful.” That visual intrigued me more than the photo itself.
  11. These were on a blog called the other pictures. I was totally amazed at the colors of the first one, and the beauty of the lightning in the second one.
  12. Lonely Travelog had a photo of the Eiffel Tower that was gorgeous! It reminded me of my four days there a few years ago, and how often I tried (vainly) to get a good picture. I’ll just look at this one instead and remember the fun of that trip!
  13. Jasper Smits beckoned me to visit Iceland. I’ve never seen the northern lights other than in photos.
  14. I love the desert, especially around Phoenix. These on @vannilla  clearly called to me, reminding me of my days in the Southwest.
  15. And last but definitely not least…I found this shot on [pictures people listen to] whispering to my eyes, “Come over here and take a look.” You can just make out a person walking into the unknown, unlit path. The blog title invited me in, and the photo kept me there visiting.

I have to say, after looking at 229 entries, I came away with a much more profound respect for the WordPress team that chooses entries for Freshly Pressed. Hard choices sometimes! Which ones did you hear the most clearly?

. . . perfection . . .

I might cry.

Today I decided to make a perfect clutch to match that vintage fabric purse. Well……..

not a flaw-free zone

not a flaw-free zone

I wanted to make one with a center divider. I found a pattern and instructions on a blog called sew to speak. I liked her design, and her instructions are very easy to follow. However, the pattern was bigger than I wanted. So, I ‘borrowed’ her idea and drew up a pattern more the size I wanted.

my version of the pattern

That was the start.

Why, oh WHY can’t I just leave a pattern as I find it, and follow directions???

Never satisfied. Hey, why not add some card pockets? Oh, and I’ll just make that center divider useful – it’ll be a zip pocket!

I wanted the finished clutch to be about 7″ wide by about 4″ tall. So, I cut the back lining piece about 8″ X 12″, and folded it up for the pockets. I measured it (after folding the pockets) against the pattern, to make sure I’d gotten the folds right. So far so good! That little success made me want to do it again – so I made card pockets for the front piece too. Bold, ain’t I!!

looks kinda weird, but it worked!

looks kinda weird, but it worked!

That zip pocket – it was a good idea. But not the way I first did it. I found that I couldn’t follow sew to speak‘s instructions as written, probably because they weren’t written for the alterations I’d made. So, I ended up finishing the bottom seam in the zip pocket, and not sewing it into the bottom seam of the clutch, as the instructions said to do. Instead, I had the pocket about 1/4″ above the bottom seam of the clutch.

bottom seams

I also had to make the zip pocket smaller than the outer pieces. The first try I followed instructions and sewed the zip pocket seams into the side and bottom seams. Not so good. The pocket buckled and was hard to open. OH well. The second try, with the bottom of the zip pocket left free, worked better – but the pocket still tried to curl in the middle.

I tried pulling the pocket sides about zip pocket1/4″ beyond the side seams, making the pocket slightly smaller than the outside pieces. Hey, whaddya know – it worked!!


Things were going so well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve just decided to give up on perfection.

Maybe the next project will be that illusive perfect one. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy my imperfect but usable clutch.

time for a road trip

Trip planning

I think I’m ready for another road trip. Time to prepare for it! This was the weekend to make myself a new travel bag. I found an old bandanna pattern muumuu and a denim midi skirt (where else??) at yard sales. Naturally, I couldn’t pass them up. I used the sleeves of the muumuu and part of the front of the skirt. Those pockets were great for the outside of the bag.

I used Butterick pattern 3343, view H. But naturally, I could not leave it as it was. I just HAD to add pockets. It’s listed as a travel bag, so I assume Butterick thinks travel bags don’t need pockets. W R O N G ! ! ! But I only added them to the outside. And since I didn’t put any pockets inside, I made a little matching coin purse for the inside. Hey, I gotta have SOMETHING on the inside!!

The rest of the pattern was as written. Well, almost. I did shorten the handles by two inches also, and didn’t make them from the webbing called for in the pattern. Two reasons: first, I didn’t really want to use webbing, and second, I didn’t have any. I made straps from the two fabrics with the edges encased in the bias binding used on the inside seams.

OK, maybe there was one more thing I did differently. The pattern didn’t call for interfacing nor a liner. I added both; but that stiff interfacing was a BEAR to work with, lemme tell ya!! I do like the way it keeps the form of the bag, though.

With all that done, time to put it to the test. Road trip ideas, anyone?

My glorious, amazing mistake

But hey, it’s art.

I just had to try something yesterday, with a HUGE reversible vest I’d bought at Goodwill – mostly for the buttons. But I wondered about making a bag using reversible fabric, with no lining. So I set out to give ‘er a shot. And I tried not to shoot myself in the foot in the process.

Here is what I came up with. This experiment has proven one thing to me – well, maybe two things. First, I don’t like this style of purse in this type of fabric. Second, the next one I make will have stiff interfacing and a lining. This one is way too floppy to suit me, but at least it’s pretty fabric. :-) I got so engrossed in the project, though, that I only remembered to take pictures of making that first pocket.

I did discover why the vest had smaller pockets on one side – so they could be sewn on first and the ones for the reverse sewn on over them. duh. I shoulda known that…now I do! So I just used the same technique when sewing on all. those. pockets!