Monday, November 25, 2013

Things that I'm into right now

DIY. Left: twill right: denim Made a denim skirt, now waxing it #otterwax Flannel and waxed denim self drafted skirt selfie
self drafted straight skirt. Waxed denim.
Self drafted zipper skirt #patterndrafting #slightlyhottopic
self drafted straight skirt with zipper
Much less fussing needed for figure 2 #patterndrafting #apparelarts
moulage. I'm getting the hang of it.
First fitting #alsattire #japaneserawdenim #rawdenim
first fitting of my western shirt jacket. Japanese raw slub denim. Al's Attire.
Snakeskin pencil self drafted zipper skirt on the chopping block #patterndrafting
self drafted snakeskin pencil skirt. will have zipper.

Friday, November 22, 2013

2013 in review

It's a little early, but I'm ready to review.  I present to you 2013, broken out into categories.


This year I changed my alarm so that I have 15 minutes to sit in the morning. This was about 2-3 months ago, now I find myself waking up earlier to get in a 30 minute sit every day.

I find myself wanting to learn more about concentration, equanimity and compassion. My practice now is doing kind and friendly things, even if I don't feel kind and friendly. When I feel really cranky about something, I write down something for which I am grateful. This is sticky because I want to write about material luxuries, but try to find something else.

Apparel Arts

I started taking pattern making classes last January, it has changed my life in a lot of positive ways. Like most people, I have a complex relationship with clothing and fit. But I love clothes so this was a way to make clothing mine. The first section was skirts. I wasn't even interested in skirts before I started taking this class. But now I know that skirts can fit into the weekly wardrobe as easily as jeans.

I learned that I may have an idea for a long time, even over a year, before I can make it.

The gorgeous thing about style is that it can be ever changing and flowing. One style need not define me every day, deciding what I want to wear every day can be fun.

I have enough. Well thought out basics are better than impulsive and trendy purchases. When one has the right pieces, they can mimic the trends if one would like.

Dr Sketchy's

This year we successfully had two events a month at Chicken John's warehouse. The community is wonderful, our space is great, I am grateful to have this opportunity. I like drawing twice a month, I like picking the models. My drawing is always improving and I really like using watercolors.


Bio: Super complex in 2013, but we seem to be past a crisis stage with my father's health. He seems happy, for now he can talk on the phone and he laughs. Mom has adjusted to the changes. We have a lot of help. I show up when I need to, even if I don't always feel like it.

My local chosen family and community rocks. I love my babycakes and the cats.


You Need a Budget and Mr Money Mustache are changing my views on money. I currently do a pretty good job of saving, but I am very interested in early retirement. I've been looking at a lot of things differently than in the past and I'm grateful that I started saving early. I'm questioning all expenses.


Lot of accomplishments in this category in 2013. Did AIDS/LifeCycle break down the mental hurdle that kept me thinking that some things couldn't be accomplished? Oh yes.

6 months of training and a 545 mile ride to LA were pretty special. My team, the feeling of helping people, being of service and accomplishing this major goal felt wonderful.

I was also able to participate in some 200ks with SFR this year as well. It's nice to be with that community.

I lost over ten pounds this year, I've lost 35 total. It feels weird to see the hollows under my cheekbones, I like them.

There is a relationship now between art and riding, in that I've been designing posters for SFR and for commission projects.

I just quit sugar in what I am calling 'No Sugar November'. I had a headache for the first 9 days. Eating bread makes me feel the same, and starts the craving cycle. I'm not sure that I am ready to take on bread and grains.


A big year for style! I'm very excited about it. Bill and I both explored the option of getting custom clothing. In the Spring, I started out looking for dress shoes/flats that would replace a pair of shoes that I bought in London in 2006. Eventually it led me to Al's Attire and I had them remade! In my size!

My joke is that there is no venn diagram where wide feet and cute intersect. I ordered two pairs of custom shoes this year and have ideas about what I might like to invest in next year.

I took some fabric that I bought for myself and Bill into Al's and we had shirts made as well.

I'm exploring skirt shapes, volume, color, not so much pattern (this is a hard one), accessories and modern fashion. My Pinterest is about shapes and inspiration. One lesson that Apparel Arts has taught me is that I can hold onto that inspiration as long as I need it, eventually I will have the skills to make whatever I want. And that, while it is clinging, is also freedom.


This may sound crazy but Evernote kind of changed my life. I track all of my projects and interests using Evernote, I clip web pages, recipes, all of it. I found out about it from reading an article on the founders of ModCloth.

One big thing I did this year was track all the clothing whims that I had, that I wanted to purchase. I found that most of the things I bought online I sent back, and most of the things that I thought I wanted, if I write them down and think about it for a while...well they don't really interest me for very long. Or if they do, then it is worth saving the money. Trades also rock.

Anyhoo, that's it. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bike: Berthoud Saddle

Some time in the recent past I became aware that my Berthoud Aspin cork saddle was askew. I say 'sometime' because I think it had been this way for a while, perhaps even when I bought it two years ago. But it's like I never really looked at it that closely. Weird, I know.

I recall that the saddle rubbed my jeans on the right side when I first got it. Then recently I actually burned through a pair of jeans on the right inner thigh and started doing some looking. Oh yeah, the saddle was a just a little wonky. I tried to mess with the rivets and straighten it out, but in the front this plastic piece was turned and underneath the rails were bent. Nothing would change it.

Berthoud is trading this one in for an 'unthrashed' (tm @geoffcolburn) version

I took the saddle into Box Dog to see if there was anything that could be done about it. Geoffrey Colburn took some photos and sent them into their distributer, Euro Asia Imports.

Berthoud photos by Geoffrey ColburnBerthoud photos by Geoffrey Colburn
(photos by Geoffrey Colburn)

Geoffrey got back to me with an unexpectedly pleasing result. The distributer was willing to exchange the saddle for no charge, which is so super awesome. I was expecting to pay something for restoring it.

Needless to say this replacement saddle came with a rail stabilizer. #sweet