Ironing A Shirt

I’ve posted this before but it’s worth posting again. The topic came up yesterday with a sewing friend visiting from Toronto. I had to do some looking around to find the video. Once found, I mailed myself the URL so I could find it once again. Click here to watch this guy iron a shirt in three minutes flat!

Ironing A Shirt (in 3 minutes)

Not kidding – he makes the whole process understandable and very easy to do. Pay particular attention to how he does the collar/collar stand. The way he does it eliminates the ends of the collar sticking out.

Seriously, check out the video then try it out. I have lots of shirts I’ve made for myself. I’m about to make another couple using some wonderful Liberty cotton I bought at Britex in San Francisco a couple of years ago. I no longer avoid wearing and washing my shirts because I know how to iron them easily.

Testing The Lounge Chair

I have an amusing story to share. Last week I happened to visit the new Structube furniture store that opened not far from where I live. I bought some furniture from the Dartmouth Crossing shop when I moved into the apartment and I’ve been happy with it.

I wasn’t looking for anything, just schmoozing, really, when I spotted this lounge chair. I hate the lazy boy chair in my bedroom – my legs aren’t comfortable, the seat is just a wee bit too high, my neck wakes me if I choose to snooze, my head is in the wrong position to see out of the distance portion of my multifocal glasses when looking over my knitting to watch TV….

So I sat in the lounger, and thought “This might work!” But no point in buying without REALLY testing it out. I need a comfortable chair for knitting, reading, watching TV, and snoozing. I have to be comfortable doing all four before it’s worth thinking about buying.

Lounge Chair For My Bedroom

I went back two days ago ready to give this chair a serious workout – I brought my knitting, my book was on my phone, there was a TV on a wall at an appropriate height near the chair, and I had a pillow for under my neck. I settled in for a couple of hours of try-out. The store manager thought it was a good idea when I explained what I was doing, “We’re open until 9” she told me; so no rush to cut this testing session short.

I knit for an hour finishing the heel turn on a sock and beginning the gusset, glancing from time to time at the TV nearby – that worked fine. My arms were comfortable, my head position good. I tried reading – that was comfortable, too, with my pillow in the small of my back. Snoozing I found was best done without any support behind my head and neck; the shape of the lounger was just right.

As I was knitting away, eyes on the TV, didn’t a friend of mine come by with a huge grin on her face. She said she’d come into the store and thought – what a good idea to have a mannequin to display the furniture – when she looked more closely and saw me knitting. We had a good laugh about what I was doing. But no point, I told her, in investing in the lounger without knowing it was better than the lazy boy I owned.

After another twenty minutes I packed up and headed to chat with the store manager about buying the chair. I’m expecting it to arrive in town in about a week. Looking forward to knitting and reading and watching TV and snoozing in comfort, finally!

Couldn’t Resist These Faces

A friend just sent me this photo. She also finds faces (pareidolia) everywhere as I do! I loved this one!

Suspicious Pants

This one is pretty good, too. I bet if I look at the banana sitting on my kitchen counter I will find an unhappy face (it’s been sitting out too long – gotta eat it today or else).

Unhappy Face

Find out if you’re prone to seeing faces.

“Women seem to be more prone to seeing faces where there are none. This may be linked to the fact that they have a better ability to recognise emotions through deciphering facial expressions.”

“Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, you can experience pareidolia. Don’t let it shock you, it’s just your ancient survival instincts kicking in.”

Once faces are drawn to your attention you may find yourself starting to see them, too. So keep your eyes open.

Do You See It?

The Honda Accord “Bear” Face

I was watching TV last evening while knitting socks – I caught this image of the interior of a Honda Accord as it flashed by. The “face” of a “bear” (or some other animal) was so strong I actually paused the program, rewound it until I was able to see the image clearly. I captured it with my phone.

Think about it – how many people were involved in the interior design of this vehicle – a lot, I’d say. I can’t believe nobody picked up on this “face”. It’s so strong – I’d never be able to sit behind this steering wheel without feeling uncomfortable.

What about you? Do you see it? The phenomenon is called pareidolia. I have a strong propensity to see faces in inanimate objects – I’ve mentioned it before. But I have to say, this is one of the strongest “faces” I’ve come across and I find it uncomfortable.

A friend of mine also sees “faces” – here’s a photo she sent me last week:

Bathroom “Face”

Here’s what she had to say about it: “A little unnerving having this guy staring up next to me in the hotel bathroom in Montreal today!
A bidet with a personality!”

I bet she was aware of that face every time she used that bathroom.

 

Cayce Zavaglia – Artist

My sister Donna has returned from a two week visit to NYC and she just sent me photos of some astounding embroidered portraits done by the artist Cayce Zavaglia.

Embroidered Portrait

Step back and you see the portrait. In the gallery, step close and you see the craft – a gazillion stitches using silk, cotton, yarn threads to create tone, depth, texture. I can’t imagine how long it takes to complete one of these portraits – perhaps months?

In any case, if you’re interested in learning more take a few moments to watch her at work:

Spectacular.

Lace – Crochet & Tulle

Today’s highlight was our visits to Tuomo and Panicale to see two very different sorts of lace. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of the (mostly elderly) women at work but we did get to meet one crochet lace maker and I was able to buy two small pieces which I intent to frame.

Crochet Lace Table Runner

Crochet Lace Collar

The hand work is simply magnificent – done with extremely fine crochet cotton and very fine steel hook. My maternal grandmother and her sister Rose both did crochet, but their work was not nearly so fine or elaborate. I crochet, too, but I’ve never tried such intricate work. I looked at it for quite a while.

The second type of lace is sewn with needle and fine thread through tulle.

Information On How The Lace Is Made

The Lace With Paper Template Beneath

Tulle Lace Christening Gown

[Note: Wi-Fi here is intermittent so I’ve learned to publish as I go.]

My maternal grandmother and her sister Rose both did beautiful crochet work but with a much heavier thread. I, too, crochet well but usually with wool. I will have to try some fine cotton to see if I can manage something this delicate – I imagine it could take years of practice!

And then the lunch.

Restaurant On The Lake Shore

I’ll promised myself I would eat sensibly today so while the others ordered full course meals, I ate some of the antipasto, and ordered a salad. I tasted the meat and fish meals – a forkful but that was it. The food, again, was delicious. Even with the meagre lunch I ate my evening meal consisted of half a pear. I could face no more food.

 

More Florence

Sheila and I decided to return to the Piazza Del Duomo again, via Bus route 22, but this time we wandered toward the river through the galleria and leather market.

The Galleria

The Leather Market

The leather goods were sumptuous – I couldn’t resist a pair of bright turquoise lined leather gloves. Sheila was drawn to the handbags.

After browsing through the leather stuff we headed toward the Uffizi. It was one in the afternoon and the Piazza was packed with people (and pigeons).

Piazza Near The Uffizi

There was no point in attempting to enter the Uffizi, the lineups snaked the length of the building. Instead we strolled toward the Fiume Arno and the Ponte Vecchio.

Il Ponte Vecchio

It was interesting to see a heavily armed presence guarding the route:

The Military Presence

The two soldiers in an armoured truck on one side, two young soldiers with assault weapons across the road from it. A determined van driver however could have mowed down many pedestrians before being stopped, the moving crowds were so dense.

Lots of interesting shops on the side streets:

A Glass Shop

I loved the array of colours and shapes on display in this one. Don’t know where the glass was made (quite likely in Venice).

After a number of hours strolling in the sunshine we headed back to a bus stop and back home. We ended the afternoon with some gelato from a shop near our B&B Hotel.

At Gelateria Barroccino

This young man (didn’t get his name) makes wonderful gelato – many flavours, different ones each day. I’ve tried straccitella, nutella, and today cioccolatto.

We ended the day by having dinner with the other women in the group, including Linda who has organized the trip. Tomorrow we head out to Umbria and the alpaca farm, a long winding trip planned to take most of the day. Looking forward to whatever comes next.