06 October 2009

175. Kreativ Blogger Award

Before I forget again, let me first share photos of my first paid "commissioned" piece. I wore this dress, a prototype for a dress I thought I would make for Vocabulary this summer, to a party a few months ago. A friend saw it and wanted a work-appropriate version of her own, which I finished last week:
We lowered the waist to the natural waistline, nipped it in a couple of inches for a trimmer waistline, decreased the volume of the skirt and put most of the fullness at the front and back, extended the neckline placket to the skirt for easier on/ off, and lengthened the skirt to just above knee (for her). The fabric is this beautiful linen/ cotton blend, with brown warp and blue weft threads. The bronze sheen is amazing in the sun! And here, side and back views:

Onto the Kreativ Blogger Award: Thank you to the fabulous Faye for nominating me for this award! If you haven't visited Faye's blog yet, get ready for her great taste, mad sewing skillz, and authenticity and humility. I don't think there's anything quite like her blog in Blogland!

To earn this award I must share 7 things about me and nominate seven other bloggers. I think I've done a few "reveal" memes and shared random things and secret personal facts. I don't think there are rules this time so I will go random again:

1. I am your stereotypical morning person. Everything just feels better in the morning. In college I tried being a night person, thinking it was more romantic and college-y. I hated waking up when the sun was in high noon position and I could never rely on my brain to work well after 10 p.m.

2. I am a mosquito magnet. A few years back I did a little research on why this might be. Don't think I found out anything definitive. I'll go to an outdoor party with 50 people and be the only one covered in bug bites from head to toe. On days like that I will take a Claritin and try really hard not to scratch.
image from Wikipedia

3. I do not suffer from lack of ideas. Often I have more ideas than you can shake a stick at. No shortage of possibilities where I come from. Not to say that I am the best idea picker, though I've gotten good at that over the years, too. And, as witnessed by my two efforts this year to host or co-host sew-alongs, you see that follow-through on very long-term ideas on which I am not getting paid is hard for me... **whistles, fingers drumming table, eyes darting at the skies**

4. This has never been a blog topic but many friends IRL know that I have an aversion to chemicals. This is not the same as being a germophobe -- witness a recent conversation about H1N1, in which I remarked, "Meh, virus schmirus." Chalk that up to my college job in the microbiology lab, where no stinkin' bacteria made me wince. Nor am I a clean/ neat freak -- witness photos from earlier this year when I had pictures on the floor instead of on the walls.

No, for me it's about the chemicals. We don't wear shoes in my house because I can't stand the thought of all the chemicals from the street being spread all over my home, though I know they are spreading anyway, to a lesser degree. Nearly all of our household care items (cleaning products, bug sprays, etc.) are "natural". A few weeks ago I started tasting chemicals in the water. I knew how Julianne Moore's character in Safe felt (is it me or is it real???). I had a full-on freak-out until I theorized it wasn't the water -- it was the cups, being washed in the dishwasher with very toxic stuff that my husband insisted got the dishes the cleanest, and it was not being rinsed off well enough. And my theory has proven true. Moved back to the Seventh Generation dishwashing powder and everything tastes fine. I've contemplated no 'poo but struggle with the heavy, greasy feeling on my hair after skipping more than one day of shampoo. There is a shocking lack of hair and skincare products out there without parabens and sulfates, in case anyone is looking for a new business idea.

5. I love my 6-year-old son so much, and he's probably my favorite companion. But some days I just want to say, "You know, you really need to turn the intensity dial down a few notches, child." And then I realize it's very possible that... he gets that from me... **whistles again, averting eyes**

6. I have just taken up jogging again. Recent life stress pushed me back to my running shoes and I was amazed at how much better I felt, how much more creative I was, and how much more I got done. So I went again. And again. I'm no athlete but I think I will stick with this for a while.

7. I noticed as a child how much neater my handwriting was based on what I was writing with, so I am very picky about my pens and pencils. My doodling is much better with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. One of my fave pens is the Pilot P-500 Extra Fine.

image from OfficeDepot.com

And now I nominate 7 others... I have tried to stick with sharing new blogs with you when I pass on these memes, but this time I will honor those bloggers who post often/ regularly, like I can set my clock to them. This takes a lot of time and commitment and I appreciate their efforts!

3. Outi - Outsapop
4. Lindsay T - Lindsay T Sews
5. Johanna Lu - The Last Stitch
6. Tina - glam.spoon
7. Winona - Daddy Likey


  1. Hey, thanks for the award! I am worshipping this dress you made: très fab!

  2. OH MY! I hear you on the chemicals thing. I have many of the same aversions. I tend to be very sensitive to "things" & people at work refer to me as a food nazi. Oh well! I hear you on the shampoo too. . tried no shampoo for a little over a week a while back. Unfortunately, I have very naturally curly hair. ..'nuf said. I do seek out "less toxic" shampoos & use Melaleuca cleaning products. {well, I do have a cleaning lady - she uses her own stuff. ..} I don't drink tap water - too much fluoride. I use no fluoride toothpaste & don't let the kids use it either. I have a thyroid disorder & there is a link. I could ramble on for days. . .

  3. You know what? That dress looks so fine, I wouldn't mind paying for one too! And I absolutely love the blue buttons.

    As for the chemicals and the shampoo thing, my mother is a pharmasist here in Greece and I get my shampoos from her pharmacy. There is this brand Korres, which is now stocked in the States too, and their shampoo is paraben/silicon/mineral oil/propylene glycol/ethanolamine free. Or so it says on the bottle, where I just copied all this mumbo-jumbo from. Thought you might find that useful!

  4. When you say no shampoo, I don't know if you mean just water or what. I am one of the baking soda/apple cider vinegar devotees. Dilute about 1 T of baking soda in a cup of water and work it into your hair (you can also just make a paste of the baking soda and work that in if you'd like). Rinse well, then dilute 1 T of the vinegar in a cup of water and pour it over your hair. Rinse well again. It gets all of the oil out and leaves your hair feeling clean. Once your hair adjusts to being cleaned this way, you should have shampoo-like results. I found I was able to go a few days between washings with this method, but I am not an oily lady.

  5. I SO hear ya on the chemicals thing. I can't even walk past the cleaning aisle at the store without gasping.

    As far as no-poo, I've been no-poo for three years now. For the first year, I washed almost every day (I'd skip one every once in a while). Then I realized that I had adjusted somewhere in that year and now I can skipa few days if I want to. I guess I thought I'd throw that out there since it seems like a lot of people think you have to only wash your hair once a week if you're going to no-poo. Give it 6 months, washing as often as you want and see what happens!

  6. I love the dress! Where did the fabric come from?

    I've heard that people with warmer skin attract more mosquitoes. Maybe that's the case with you?

  7. Love the dress. there was a huge thing in Sydney recently about not using shampoo led by radio presenter Richard Glover. Google him and no shampoo and I'm sure you'll find the whole experiment covered. I'm also better in the morning and a mossie magnet. Perfect now that Dengue Fever is heading into our region.

  8. Thanks for the award! You're a sweetie! And I'm with you on mornings, they are the best!

  9. Great dress. I know your client is over enjoyed. And congratulations on the award.

  10. Don't know why you attract the mossies in particular, but I did read a fabulous theory about people with strongly smelling feet not getting bitten so much!

    However, I do know they don't like tea tree oil. If you use body lotion, some stores do sell lotion with with tea tree already added or put a few drops of the pure essential oil in and mix thoroughly before using. Also when you get bitten dab a little on the bite, it's a natural antiseptic and will calm and help heal the bite.

  11. You might want to try Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner.
    http://www.psico.com/ This line was recommended by my doctor when we suspected I had a chemical allergy. You can get it at People's Pharmacy. I use their Liquid Cleanser, Cleansing Bar, and Lite Lotion, too. All great products!

  12. thanks for the award, AP! I will honor the honor by following the rules. and by the by that dress looks fantastic - love the fabric and your adjustments to the fit were spot on!

  13. I don't have any problem with chemicals and I'll use 'em if it'll stop me from getting bitten by mozzies all summer!

    Love the dress btw, esp. how those blue buttons bring out the blue in the fabric.
    It's really a whole different design from the original.

  14. That dress is awesome, I bet your friend will be very happy. Cotton/linen is such a nice fabric to both wear and work with. Also I am a sucker for blue and brown combos. And thank you for the award as a regular blogger, I will try to keep the momentum going then! Just need like 10 hours more a day....

  15. @Lindsay T - You are welcome! I am so glad you like the dress.

    @Scrappinfor3 - Isn't it ca-ray-zee how much chemical goop is around us? I almost stepped into oily rainwater, while getting out of my car today at the grocery store. Yikes.

    @lopi - I thank you for the compliment, and if you're serious about me making you a dress you better email me 'cause that fabric is not going to be around forever! And thanks for suggesting Korres, too. I'll check around.

    @Stef - I haven't tried the baking soda and vinegar yet... I have done every-other-day shampoo washing for a year. After the next month, I might give the baking soda and vinegar a go. I have lots of travel and work soon and want to wait on that experiment. :) I guess I'd heard that if you do that too much it strips your hair of oils and I felt like my hair was too heavy after skipping just one day! Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience. I will come back and read it when I am ready to try.

    @2WeeMonsters - Wow, three years no 'poo! Good job! I will let you know how mine goes. :)

    @Kristy - Thanks, the fabric is from a local indie fabric shop here in Austin called The Common Thread. Sooooo beautiful. I guess I have high metabolism but don't think my actual body temp runs high. I should check Wikipedia or something...

    @Gail - Thank you, I look forward to reading about that experiment/ Richard Glover. There is a rogue mosquito living in my home that has snacked on me every night for 3 nights. Can't quite seem to catch the bugger.

    @Pam - You're welcome!

    @Cennetta - She was excited! Which made me even more excited. Haha.

    @Anonymous - I will look for some tea tree oil this weekend. Worth a shot. And it smells good, right?

    @Leslie in Austin - How nice to see you here. :) Thanks for the recommendation. I will check out the link.

    @glam.spoon - You're welcome, fancy lady! Appreciate the dress love.

    @Violet - Funny how small changes can make a big difference, isn't it? I agree, it looks like an entirely different dress.

    @Johanna Lu - Thank you, I hoped a little bit that she wouldn't like the dress so I could keep it, but I think it looks really perfect on her. You're welcome on the award -- I appreciate your blogging efforts! I'd give you those 10 hours if I could. :)

  16. Ditto on the chemicals! And on the child-intensity issue! LOL! I have wanted to say the same thing to my son many times...and he is our mosquito magnet.

    Enjoyed reading your random facts! Thanks for sharing!

  17. WOW, i can read your blog at work now for some reason!!! woohoo!

    #2 - mosquitoes are attracted to blue...perhaps you were wearing blue?

  18. Ooo, love the commissioned dress. The fabric looks so pretty.

  19. I love the dress! It's so perfect in every way, right down to the little blue buttons. I'm in awe of you!
    I'm not a chemical fan either, i'm a huge advocate for natural alternatives. I've been doing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar hair wash routine now for about 6 months and it's great! I've even converted my boyfriend to using it. I did that by just not buying anymore shampoo and conditioner, so he had to use my baking soda and vinegar. He loves it now!


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