Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Miracle Wrap Skirt: Pattern And Instructions!!

The Divine Ms de Hart in her
Miracle Wrap Skirt

Beginner's version
Advanced Version

I've been consumed with trying to determine how to draft a free pattern for you that did not require a degree in physics for this timeless garment, when...poof! What should appear in my email, but the EN-tire project WITH pattern, WITH detailed instructions, WITH a ton of pictures!! See. That's magic. All I have to do is think about something hard enough and it's going to manifest. ("Look at all this money!! What am I gonna DO with all of this money?!? Have you ever seen so much money in all of your life!??! However will I spend all of this money??!!")

The author of this miracle of appearing miracle skirt pattern is designer Andrea de Hart. For more of her incredible crafts and sewing tips, visit her site, Crafty Bitch!!

The only thing that I would add to these fabulous directions is where she shows the advanced version that has a piped edge slightly rounded is to say that a piped edge actually helps you turn and finish anything beautifully!!

So here goes! Download the pattern in PDF format HERE from Craftzine. See the entire layout HERE from Craft Magazine Volume 6.

My undying thanks to Ms. de Hart for doing all the gray work for me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Never Say Never - Dardos Literary Award

I have said that I wouldn't accept or pass on another award. And then, here comes my good friend Bernie with a Dardos Award. Okay. JUST this one more! Honest! She said:

"Hey Dina Belle ...
I've passed on my award to you! Who in the world deserves it more? The blog post is below.

How is your leg, dear one? I do hope you are healing. I suspect that nasty a fall will take some time. Oooh I checked outthe journal you posted for your pal. I hope she picks it up too. I know (from my friend Colleen) that there is great interest and muchactivity out there on the boards for people who are raising chickens and harvesting eggs, etc. They are an active and friendly bunch!

Well, I promised Roy that I would pass on, within a day or two, the very kind Dardos award he gave me. I had to think a bit longer about it than I had planned. If he hadn't given it to me, I would have given it to him! Roy, your photos & observations are incredible! To be honest, before beginning to write here, most of my online reading has been news-related ... CNN, BBC, The Nation, all manner of small publications, and not many personal sites. Since landing here, I've been privileged to read some wonderful thoughts, and see some incredible artwork and photography. It is humbling to realize how much talent and heart there is in the world, and it is a privilege that so many people are open enough and brave enough to share themselves with the wider world.

By way of reminder:

The Dardos award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

The rules:
1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog. [Note: Don't forget to copy and paste the award jpeg itself to include on your own blog!]

2) Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

I've decided to send this to Chris Wolf for his site, Piano Posts. On the surface, Chris writes about his experiences with teaching music, and what he writes about his students is often both eye-opening and amusing. He has great passion for what he does, so his posts usually also include personal observations, wisdom to share, or worthy questions for readers to ponder. Always I come away from him site with a sense of inspiration and something worthy to consider.

I absolutely must give this award to Dina for her Deepwater Journal. Dina is so many things, not the least of which is a true kindred spirit/soul sister. She has a fine mind, a wicked sense of humour, and she's an artist in too many mediums for me to keep track of - she sews (including amazing costumes), makes jewelry (her tiaras are to die for), and more more more. You can see a teeny portion of her work also on her Etsy site, and I recommend you go there too. At her journal, I suggest you scroll back a bit and read some of her musings about life & politics. She's a gem!

Then there's Annie's journal, The Daily Photoshop. Her photos are such great fun, as are her observations of people and nature. Currently, she's taking us along as she bounces through Manila and Hong Kong. Annie's interest and curiosity are captured by her lens, and I think her site is delightful.

Like Roy, I don't really have 5 to give out at the moment, but I hope these wonderful folks will pass this appreciation on to many more. BRAVO all!

Okay. For you Bella!! Thank you, my Little Beauty!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tech Meets Fashion

Hussein Chalayan -

Probes: Skin Dresses:

(I'll be posting another segment of Talis and Littlefoot soon, just needed to share these incredible designers with you!)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Adventures of Talis and Littlefoot - Part 3

A racket started around the corner coming from the direction of South Gate. “Ah, that sounds hopeful”! Talis said as metal on metal, screams and shouts punctuated the air. She was up on Stranger's back, sword in one hand, rabbit in the other as Littlfoot glided up behind her using Stranger's tail as a ladder. They pelted down the small street and swung onto the main road towards the gate.

From her vantage point, she could see a large carriage, doors ajar, driver slumped over with an arrow protruding from his neck. The melee was located just outside the gate.
The two guards she'd passed earlier on her way in were now muscling through several Puntar foot soldiers while several other mounted Punts pelted away from the gate on their stocky horses followed by a hail of arrows from atop the wall.

“Stop, fools! You'll kill him”, came a loud and anguished male voice from somewhere in the center of the fight, but not before one of the fleeing raiders fell from his horse, his back pierced through by an archer's arrow shaft. His horse stopped abruptly and began to circle around his dead rider aimlessly, reins loose, one black boot still in the stirrup.

Screams broke out closer to the carriage and Talis advanced on a tug-of-war between two horsed Punts and a well-dressed woman. The object they were fighting over was wrapped in a swaddling blanket. Talis urged Stranger through the confused crowd parting them like so many leaves with his broad chest.

She pulled up to the two Puntar horsemen as she stuffed the frightened rabbit under her cloak and used her sword to cut the blanket corner from the Puntar hand closest to her. The slack tension caused the gowned woman to stumble back against the coach and loosen her grip. Talis drew the blanket to her in an iron fisted grip as her second swipe left the remaining Punt with a handful of ragged wool.

The Punts spun on her, befuddled, swords raised above their heads. She was about to retaliate when three more Punts pelted around the edge of the gate to their aid. Not liking the odds, Talis spun Stranger, knocking over a covered cart of vegetables backing the big stallion away from the fight to a better vantage. A flash of iridescent green, a blurr of black, a slim hand holding a glistening silver tooth flew across the upturned cart, the slight figure of the rider slashing about with deftness and skill.

One of the Punts lay dead, a scrap of woolen bunting still clutched in his hand. The other had bright scarlet oozing from a double hatch of wounds on the top of his head. The rider turned to Talis, flashed her a grim smile, a lock of pale coral hair fell over one gray green eye.

“I'll distract these three. You ride from those!” A young woman with silvery skin and the unmistakably melodic voice bordering on the sonorous of the ahlvenni faced her. “Tirashar, daughter of Raensalim, at your service, mistress” she said.

Talis held her sword in a vertical salute at her left shoulder, the sign of a warrior honoring another, spoke to Stranger and was off pelting away from those – five more Punt horsemen were trying to negotiate their way through baskets of overturned turnips and potatoes. She would have to ponder the appearance of an ahlvenni rusa this far south of the Charred Mountains when she had more time.

Talis reined Stranger hard left in the street opposite from Vilene's and looked down at the now squawking bundle. She pulled back the edge to discover a highly angered and frightened human infant, red faced, mouth agape and gathering wind for another bawl. Talis heard the hooves of the Puntar ponies behind her. She rolled the squalling child out of the blanket and under her cloak.

“Hang onto this, Littlefoot”!

“Is it food?” his querulous voice brought a fierce laugh from her.

“No, but it may lead to a trade for it! Just see it doesn't fall off”. The infant's squeals stopped as this new, soft and warm thing with small furry hands sat on her. She stuck pudgy fingers into his belly, grabbed at his ears, and cooed delightedly while Littlefoot stoically refrained from tasting the goods.

Talis clipped hard right on Stranger's flank with her knee spinning him around heading back the way she came. She plowed through the Punt gang in the narrow alleyway with Stranger scattering the smaller horses like lawn pins. One of the horses slid down on the slick cobbles with its rider half out of the saddle, half standing. He struggled to right himself and the horse as the others knocked against each other in their haste to turn and give chase.

Talis flew down the alley and skidded Stranger to a dancing stop. “Vi, here! Take this and hide it! I'll be back for it as soon as I can!” she said as she handed off the baby much to the relief of a sorely tried and tested Littlefoot.

She grabbed the rabbit from under her cloak, wrapped it in the infant's swaddling and then galloped off further down the lane. The Punts had regained their footing and were closing in on Vi's little shop. Talis spun in time to see them slow. She mentally threw a glamor incantation at them and held her blanketed booty aloft wagging it in their direction. Any thought of stopping to investigate was waylaid when she taunted them with the swaddled bundle. The horsemen took off after her.

Talis left the small alleyway, made her way among the lanes towards South Gate going just slowly enough to let the cursing Puntars keep sight of her. She whizzed past the gate gaurdsas they desperately tried to restore order to the milling crowd and mashed produce and galloped straight for the Brown River. Once out of the gate, she let Stranger have his head. Littlefoot clambered up to her shoulder with his short tail wrapped around her neck for balance giving her a report of their pursuers every move.

“Oh! Ouch! The fat one hits his chest in the pommel when he jumps the logs! Black one waves his bow, but he's bouncing too hard to knock an arrow! The bald one calls your ancestors questionable names! Is that true?” he asked, repeating the phrase and peering over the top of her head, his face upside down, front paws hanging on to the silver beads in her side locks for dear life. His voice was so serious that she couldn't help but laugh out loud.

“It probably is not knowing about my bloodline!” she answered.

They were nearing the Big Wood. Talis slalomed trees with Stranger, the horse delighting in just clearing overhanging branches and briars that grew on either side of their path. She could hear the infuriated curses as legs found thorns and heads found low hanging sticks and switches.

The noise following them grew louder. Talis turned to see the fleeing raiders that had left with something valuable from the carriage before her intervention had come from a stand in the Big Wood to join the five behind her. This was getting to be more than a lark, she thought, not liking these odds, either.

Ahead through the trees, a meadow opened out and grew almost to the edge of Brown Water River. Talis kneed Stranger and he sailed through the air over the rocky ledge and was down in the cold water of the river swimming with strong kicks against the deep current. Two of the braver Punts followed suit and soon foundered their small ponies on the rocks in the swift current of the shallows. The others knocked arrows to bows and were soon snicking the water very  close to them.

Talis made it to the other side, urged Stranger up the steep bank and stopped to face her pursuit. She held the bundle aloft and gave them the universal finger of insult, which was met by angered shouts and lots of fist shaking. Another flurry of arrows impotently hit the water twenty feet from her. She kept her own bow sheathed.

The bald one, whom she assumed was their captain, ordered them to stop wasting the arrows. They wheeled their horses around and rode off clapping each other on the back as if they'd won some huge victory.

Food now?” asked Littlefoot.

Talis looked down at the spreading red stain from the shaft of a Puntar arrow in the blanket she'd wrapped the rabbit changeling with. She sighed.

“Yes. Food now”.

(I'm publishing this first and then will come back to give credits for the illustrations because I keep losing the post!)