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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Searching for the Smile

They want pictures of my teeth so they make new ones to look like what I once had. This is a strange smile, eh!!

This shows a pretty natural mouth. You can see my fingers splayed out. It is because I am apprehensive about having my picture taken. I am not every "ONE" with the camera.

OK. I am being better with the camera.

I am now seeking to fix my teeth. I used to have a really wonderful smile. At least I think it was wonderful. I met a wonderful dentist, Dr. Borbotsina, back in 1976 who diligently took care of my teeth. I had wonderful insurance and I was self conscious about my mouth. Back then, I weighed over 350 pounds, but I did take care of myself. I was on the very cusp of a life change that had me lose 180 pounds and my self image had me reeling, not having a clue what I should be doing.

Dr Jim was concerned about how my diet which completely excluded food would affect my teeth and was committed to keeping up the care of my them. Consequently I have always had a great mouth.

So here I am in Oregon having been on these medications for several years that have caused a severe case of dry mouth and my teeth are falling out one by one, cracking, chipping. I eat rice and soup, oat meal, eggs, mostly soft foods. And still they come out. One tooth feel out while I was trying to take out my mouth piece. One tooth came out while eating ice cream. Ice cream!! It is awful. I have lost my smile. I just don't want to talk to anyone.

I went to OHSU today to be examined by their dental school to see if I would be a candidate for their program at a decent price that I might afford. Well, I am a candidate, but the price is high. $3000.

My regular dentist here quoted me $3500. So there is a conflict. I would be saving only $500 by going to a school. Of course I could look at it another way. When I look at it another way, I see that my dentist discounted all of my procedures. Originally, the cost was $4904 and he discounted it $1396. Could that be because I discussed full dentures with him last year thinking this would happen as the cavities were already very visible back then? But he thought it would not be necessary and just put in partials.

All I know is, This has to be done. It will take time, it will be a bit painful, take adjustment, be ugly for awhile, but in the end it will be better.

Now, go brush you teeth!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Textile Expo

This is my latest creation. I found out about the expo a week before it was to take place in Las Vegas. That gave me four days to get this piece done. Two of the days were weekend days meaning I had to work the floor - cash registers, cutting fabrics and customer service. Giving breaks to the cashiers, and trying to be present because weekends are always busy and there are never enough employees scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays.

So really, two days to complete this beauty. The fabric is a silk and cashmere blend with, yes, that is real leather around the waist. Julie picked out the pattern which was very basic. Then she wanted details. You just had to know technique in order to accomplish these.

The collar is only an inch and a half high. So the strip of leather is really only a half inch wide. It ended up being a tiny detail that looked very elegant because it was understated.

I had several choices of wools and I chose the stripe because it would be easier to work with on such short notice. I even was able to connect points as a detail you can see in the back seam.

It had a typical button closure front which I altered so that it would have an exposed zipper. I then clipped the wool away and created, by cutting wool on the bias, a chevron front-piece to hold the zipper.

The sleeves did not even have a vent so I had to cut away the seam and create the same look here as in the front but on a smaller scale and completely enclosing it with lining.

I managed to stitch on the belt loops so that you can't see the stitching. I will avoid top stitching whenever possible.

I chose a burnt orange matte satin for the lining. Because I added the zipper to the chevron without a seam, I had to enclose the zipper tape somehow; so I enclosed it by hand stitching a strip of the lining over it as you can see to the left. So, the slightest bit that the jacket is open, you can see the orange peeking out which is a detail that everyone just loved. I was not sure if it was going to be acceptable, but they loved it. So I was pretty proud of it.

This jacket just happens to fit Julie perfectly. The mannequin does not do it justice of course. So when I got in on Wednesday at 12:30, she asks me if I might have time to make a blouse to go under it. Men's shirting, which I adore. She has a pattern with a fitted front, and wants the cuffs pleated. I had to lengthen the sleeves so that they would peek out below the jacket and lengthen the bodice so that, when the suit comes off of display, she will be able to buy it. Julie is very tall and very thin. I have just a few hours to get this together.

There are no pictures because as soon as it was done, she grabbed it and left to get home and get ready for the trip. No time to spare. So the final pictures will come when the suit is returned. I think next week. When it goes on display in the store, we will of course attach the pattern to it, but there will be a note saying that the details were created by the seamstress. MOI! Of course, my name will not be there, but everyone will know it is me. They will be talking about that one a lot. I will probably have to make a skirt or a pant to go with it. Or maybe they will display it just as it is. Who knows. There are scraps of the fabric left which I have in my scrap box in my sewing room. I might make some little Christmas things for everyone. The feel of this fabric is incredible. As much stress as there was working this project, the true joy of it was working with this cloth - so soft and intense. How many op0portunities does an ordinary person have to work with such a fabric?

I sent all of my pin cushions to a quilt show last weekend. I put them in a pretty basket and lugged them to work. One of my favorite quilters exhibits and sells quilts at shows. She has a reputation as a master quilter. This basket must have weighed 40 pounds. I have to get some sort of contraption that I can use to wheel such things because carrying them to the store is a real arm breaker. I will be seeing Nancy tomorrow and will find out how she did. I hear from another quilter who quilts with Nancy that in May there is a huge quilt show that I should send my cushions to because they will sell very well there. And Paula should know. She is another master quilter who really has an eye for things. She is one of the marketing displayers for the store. So I have some good time to apply to this. And I do love my cushions.

I was reading a needlework magazine printed in 1923 and found out that back then, they were not called pin cushions, they were called "pin pillows". Hmmmmm

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Summer

Yes, summer comes and I just crumble. It has been like this for decades. Who said that just because I am a human being I HAVE to be a summer person?? I want to meet that person. Whenever I tell someone that summer is my worst season they are amazed like there is something wrong with me. Yet it is perfectly acceptable to say that one does not like winter.

In summer people are hot and cranky. They smell. They sweat. And they complain about everything. people are just miserable in summer. And yet - they love summer. I don't get it.

When the heat hits I am undone. I lose my momentum. I get side-tracked. I don't want to move. Give me a chair and a cup of coffee and that is that.

I found out today while having a harmless argument with my sister that putting two spaces after a period is no longer done. My world is falling apart. Soon, there will no longer be two spaces between paragraphs. There will no longer be paragraphs. Words will all come one right after the other and no one will know what anyone is talking about.

Everyone is starting to complain that I have not been to my blog in a long time - over a month. It is summer. I ran into problems with my Etsy site and the frustration caused me to shut down completely. Remember - it is summer and I undo easily. I haven't even used my phone. I haven't even used my imagination. I am lucky I still have a job! Well, I am pretty good at my job. Thank god I maintain some consistency at work.

So I am trying to be back. This is my attempt to be back. I hear summer is officially over on Labor Day which is today. Yay.