Monday, August 31, 2009

Monkey Shirt Made

I did finally get around to working on the shirt that I got screen-printed at the Maker Faire. First, I did some machine embroidery stitching around the pocket in black rayon thread. The rest is all the stretchy,elasticy, black cording that I snagged at the Maker Faire. I just couched it down around the sleeves and on the front and back of the shirt.
I may still change the buttons to black ones.
I didn't mark anything, just thought about the design I wanted to end up with.
It was pretty easy to do, but in retrospect I wish I'd used something else instead of this elastic-y stuff. It kind of screws up the shirt from ever lying flat (or is that laying?!...), especially along the button placket in the front. I ironed it and starched the hell out of it and that helped a bit. I'm tempted to take it all off and try something else, but I know I probably won't.
But, the first day that I wore it I got several comments from people asking me where I'd gotten my shirt, and how they wanted one just like it. So, I'm on the right track, just need to work on the execution and materials choices a bit more.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

St. James Hotel

We stayed at a vintage hotel in downtown San Diego, the Hotel St. James, in the Gaslamp area which was really fun to walk around in at night, very lively.
One of the cool things is that you can actually go up on the roof! This is a picture of the rooftop sign, but I flipped it around so you can read it.
.Here is a view from the roof at night, that very bright glow was the San Diego Padres stadium (Petco Park). The boys found the game on tv and then were looking out the window, for some reason that was highly amusing.
Here's that strange city at night glow, where no stars are visible and it never really gets dark. A country person (like me) notices and misses that after a while.
This is the Wyatt Earp building which was around the corner. I thought it was really unusual.

I guess he had a saloon or some such here.
Wouldn't it be cool to go up in those small rooms at the very top? They all windows.
It just really stood out and I had to stop and do the touristy thing and take some pictures. Look at all that great detail!

I liked the lobby of our hotel, we had to use the car valet (since parking is pricey there in the city, it actually worked out cheaper), which involved a bit of waiting so I took advantage and took some pictures.

Like the cool pressed ceiling and chandelier.
The long view of the lobby.
A stained glass picture over the elevators.

Speaking of the elevators, they were very unique, the cage door kind, that you had to, get this, open yourself! Along with a super heavy door at each floor to open too. It was really neat, they were slow though, but a little plate in the elevator told about how they were the fastest on the West Coast at one point and were quite a tourist attraction. Funny huh? In the reviews I read on, some of the guests complained about the elevators being slow or the doors being manually operated, which I found really sad. The whole point of staying in a historic hotel is stuff like this, sheesh!

My favorite thing in the room didn't even get used, the radiator! Too bad they had to have that ugly red plastic sign behind it warning you that it would get hot. I suppose not everyone knows that these days...
I'm glad that we chose to stay here rather than in one of the more updated places, seems worthwhile to seek out something old and unique.

Convenience Store Quilting

One of the things I worked on while we were away on our vacation was more adding some more stitching to the Simpson's/7-11/Slurpee/Laura Wasilowski quilt that I started way back when. I've got almost all the foreground done, and a bit of the background. Not sure how the actual shapes will be stitched, I may resort to machine stitching those with a satin stitch
I really like how the hand stitching is looking, but it sure is taking me a very looooong time. And it turns out to be pretty challenging to thread a needle with Perle Cotton while in a moving car...Well maybe if the Giants end up in the Series I'll finally get this quilted. Hey! It could happen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vine to Vine

At the San Diego Zoo, we saw a lot of amazing animals and birds but towards the end of a very long day, this was one of my very favorite things. Can you spot her?

How about now? Here she is backed up against her friend.
The living vines moved in such a non-human way that it was first odd, then beautiful, sensual, and just unique.

They moved slowly and deliberately, just like the vines they were representing.

The green makeup was really well done. I couldn't figure out how the costumes were constructed, lots of faux grapevine, and stilts for both arms and legs.

I wish I'd taken a video myself, but I was so entranced I didn't think to at the time. Here's one that I found on YouTube:

Performance art at the zoo! Cool!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ships in San Diego

Here are some pictures from along the San Diego downtown waterfront at sunset. The way the San Diego bay is set up there is whole lot of waterfront of course, a lot of it is taken up by the military and commercial shipyards, but the parts you can get to are really scenic and beautiful. This area had a lot of restaurants, pedicabs and joggers.
There were several sculptures along the edge, I really liked this wire tree.

We decided to go into the Maritime Museum to check out all the cool ships on display. I wasn't honestly too excited about it, as ships aren't really my thing, but this turned out to be worthwhile. This is a shot out the window of the HMS Surprise, the ship used in the movie Master & Commander (with Russell Crowe).

Here is the Surprise's figurehead, she has a great expression on her face.
There were two submarines to go in, one from the Soviet Union and a US deep diving research sub. I only went in the Soviet one, because the oil/chemical smell just made me ill. I don't know how submariners do it?! Guess they must get used to it after a while. It was kind of amazing to see the small space that the sailors have to live in.
My favorite ship was a Scottish steam yacht, the Medea, from 1904, here is her figurehead.
They had the inside rooms all set up in the period the ship originally sailed.
The deck was just beautiful, the woodwork so exacting and perfect. We could imagine how it must have looked "back in the day" out on the waterways of Scotland.

I just loved the sitting room, so elegant and fancy.

I had to take this picture because the big ship is named Berkeley (Go Bears!), they had a museum on that ship with displays from the US Navy and commercial tuna fishing and lots of other stuff too.
This is the Star of India, which was unfortunately closed because they were moving it the very next day at 7am. It had been there for years, but I guess it has to go to dry dock to have upkeep and repairs done on it. Too bad, it looked like a really neat ship, we were bummed to miss out on seeing it.
The figurehead of the Star of India. I couldn't get a shot without the lines in her face unfortunately.
This is how the ships are tied up. I really like the sunset light on the water in this picture.

I just love ladders and this one with the colors of the ship make a great composition. This may just become a quilt design...

All the rigging of the Star of India against the sunset sky .
Still more San Diego pictures to come...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Old Town San Diego

In San Diego one of the first things we did was to take the trolley over to Old Town State Historical Park. A strange mixture of old historical buildings and displays and commercial uses (restaurants, shops). A pretty fun place to get the feel of how it might have been way back when.
Vintage metal signs were everywhere, this signal bell one was pretty cool.

The rock shop was really cool, these plates were out of some stone that I didn't think to write down and have of course forgotten, but they were just glowing in the sun.

I love old bells, and I was glad to see this one down on my level so I could take a close-up photo of it.
Shoot, the kaleidscope store was closed. But this one was permanently outside. You look in the scope and slowly turn the bowl of flowers, cool!

Isn't this a nice planter? Love the shape, the mosaic work, the stone work, and oh yeah, the plants!

I just love how the passageways looked, so colorful.
I almost bought this metal corazon (heart) but got distracted and then forgot to go back :(

A whole store of hot sauce! Which was interesting, but no purchases were made as we have a lot at home already. And one with all ceramic tiles which were cool, but we didn't buy any because no one wanted to haul them around.

This courtyard was really beautiful with some great plantings and many shady trees. There was traditional folklorico dancing with the swirling skirts and stomping heels and whirling machetes and dancing around sombreros. Pretty fun, I didn't take pictures, just enjoyed it.

Hibiscus! Happy as can be and not in Hawaii. It really is a lot warmer a whole lot more reliably in San Diego. Amazing what 500 miles difference north to south does...
They're fixing a lot of the historical buildings in OldTown and are making adobe bricks in the traditional way to use in the repairs. It looked like it was set up so that visitors could help, but it was all closed up when we were there.
More on San Diego tomorrow...