Thursday, July 21, 2016

midi skirt 1

This is one of the projects I've been meaning to post about for way too long! A while back, my awesome cousin sent me a lovely care package full of garment-worthy knits -- ponte de roma, jersey, all of it in beautiful patterns. I immediately went to work on this skirt, which is from Simplicity 1369. It's basically my ideal skirt!

These photos, of course, are casual taken in my sewing studio, because no WAY do I want to go outside modeling an autumnal outfit in the sun right now! A lot of my outfit / garment photos are going to be indoors for a while, and they may lack that "give a crap" look. Barefoot, check. Chipped nail polish, check. Incongruous lack of tights and shoes, check.

The pattern was ever-so-slightly tricky -- I really hate doing skirt yokes, even though they're part and parcel of doing a midi or A-line skirt worth looking at. Does anyone know why on earth they're so frustrating? Mine always want to flop around and get pulled the wrong way and trying to install zippers in them is like trial by fire. I'm terrible at zippers in general, so maybe it's just me. I even tried to do a nice finishing topstitch to keep it under control but it didn't quite do the trick. I just feel like I'm failing at the most basic garment, help!

Nevertheless I'm totally happy with the final look of this skirt, and the fit. It's perfect, and it goes with my favorite autumn wardrobe style -- midi skirt, t-shirt, and cardigan! And THANK YOU, B, for the fabric package! I have big plans for the other yardage!


Kira xoxo

Monday, July 18, 2016

europe 2016 || reykjavic

Reykjavik is absolutely stunning. I loved its colorful houses, beautiful hill roads leading down to the harbor, cozy shop fronts and warm restaurant escapes from the chill. Looking out on the harbor is sublime, with a city skyline wrapping around one end, and mountains on the other side. Watching the clouds and sunlight play over the water, like the landscape outside of the city, is simultaneously peaceful and awe-inspiring. You feel dwarfed, even in such a small country.

At the same time, Reykjavic is manageable -- the size of a moderate Midwestern city; easily navigable. Its size makes the surrounding sea and landscape seem even more powerful and beautiful. And I wasn't even there in the dark season; the coziness factor must be elevated in the depths of winter.

Some favorite spots...

The sculpture walk / Harpa If you go down the hill to the harbor there's a foot and bike path along the water, along which you can find several sculptures, including the abstract Viking ship pointing out to sea. Near one end of the sculpture walk is Harpa, the city's big concert venue. My mom and I didn't go inside, as we didn't have reason or time, but the glass-enclosed interior is reportedly beautiful at sunset. Since our return I'm pretty sure other travelers' photos have given us reason to regret not going in! :P

Laugavegur The main commercial / tourist street in the city. Our Air BnB was located just one tiny block away from Laugavegur. The main road is where you can find a lot of Icelandic design businesses, gift shops, and popular restaurants. Mom and I tried Icelandic food at Old Iceland -- lamb stew and ocean-caught ling (white fish) with different vegetables. Totally Viking food, and totally delicious. It still makes me drool to think about it. We also tried Kaffi & Te, a hip little coffee shop where the drinks were...unfortunately small. This is coming from Americans, of course, but it was like getting a tall drink at Starbucks for six dollars. Spend wisely on Icelandic coffee, it surely comes cheaper elsewhere!

Perla ("The Pearl") An observation and dining venue located on a hill above the city. Going up on the observation deck is free, and you can see beautiful views of the city skyline and harbor!

Street art and murals They aren't in one specific "place" per se -- there are gorgeous murals everywhere in Reykjavik. Mom and I stopped to snap pictures at only a fraction of them!

Our Air B&B Our little Air B&B was in the outbuilding of a house on Grettisgata. It was SO cozy and wonderful. It was also just a block off of Laugavegur, so that made popping out to explore the city so easy! 10/10 would book a stay there again.

I tend to get really stressed out while traveling, but I definitely miss Iceland. I've been knitting on a project with some yarn I bought from Hagkaup (pictured above), one of the grocery chains that carries Icelandic wool. I haven't yet jumped into learning the language, though...I did pick up on a few words, but good grief, what a language. Listening to it on the radio was amazing, too -- at times it sounded Scandinavian, and at others certain phonemic combinations made it sound like Spanish, Portuguese or Catalan. I sort of intentionally didn't learn any before going over there (against my principles) because I wanted to see what I picked up just from immersion. I got the word for "glacier..."

I'm undecided what I want to post next week; there are SO many pictures and so many experiences to share from Iceland! Stay tuned!


Kira xoxo

Saturday, July 16, 2016

life indoors

I need this chair.

I've been sort of terrible about keeping this blog current on anything I've been doing. Maybe it's just by my own measures -- I have all of this creative output that I just haven't formally photographed, but of course, nobody knows that but me. But it's just so hot! My motivation to take pictures of the last few garments I've made or vintage outfits I've acquired is seriously just zero.

Texas is hot. The yard looks gross. Our lawnmower broke, so I'm just battling a wasp- and ragweed-infested jungle of a quarter-acre with a weed whacker. And sweating a lot. And generally wondering why we moved to the south. Joe's and my pursuits have definitely retreated indoors for the hottest parts of the summer, despite having just been gifted a canoe! I can't wait until the average temperature cools off a bit; we're going to have some brilliant outdoor adventures.

I've been doing a lot of sewing and reading, and some drawing on my Cintiq; although the latter had some driver issues for a while which I needed my tecchie husband's help with. :) Since starting my job at one of my university's libraries, I've been doing more reading than I have in years, which I love. I get at least 18-20 hours solid per week where I can just read! The life of a student library clerk.

Joe and I ventured downtown yesterday as part of our special first anniversary weekend. We went to the art museum -- well air-conditioned! -- and enjoyed some downtown Pokémon Go, too. Oh, the irony of that game having been released at the hottest part of the year! Above are a few pictures of works at the DMA that caught my eye this time around.

The last few weeks have definitely dealt the world a scary hand, including right here in Dallas. But life isn't all violence and heat; Joe and I have some fun stuff planned for the rest of the summer. Next month, I start courses for my MSLS!

At some point I will muster my will and get out and do some sewing- and outfit- related posts! But for now, I'm hunkering down out of the sun. Happy July...?


Kira xoxo