Monday, October 31, 2011

101 Things in 1001 Days: October Update

Autumn in Multnomah Falls, Oregon, US. Oct 2010

End of October and day 160 already!
841 days more to go.
12% completed so far : )

Item #38 on my 101 things in 1001 days listLearn how to sew my own clothes and make 1 item a month for 12 months (0/12)
........drew the illustration for the mini capsule wardrobe.....2 skirts and 2 tops. Drafted skirt patterns for basic skirt and 6-gore skirt. Decided to start with the 6-gore skirt which I have cut. Next step is to get the edgings done, and sew the skirt

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drawing 10: Girl with Camera

Drawing 10: Girl with Camera. Pencil. Oct 2011

This drawing is of a Kate Spade advert in an old Vogue magazine. The cloche hat and the vintage-looking camera gives the model a retro look. I love vintage and retro fashion, especially the 30's and 40's; also the 60's fashion in Madmen.

I still have the drafts from my very first sewing lessons, way back in the 70's. After my finals one year, Mother decided I should learn a new skill, rather than hanging around with friends and partying. Coming from a staunch protestant background, Mother was a firm believer in "idle hands makes devil's work"!

I think the general idea was that I would then be able to make myself useful, and sew clothes for Mother and the Aunts. It didn't quite work out that way, as my first attempts at drafting and sewing were pretty disastrous.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Ipoh Clock Tower, Malaysia. Aug 2010

The 10,000 hour rule is from the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Outliers is the story of success, and examines the factors which make some people exceptional achievers......on a statistical chart of high achievers, these folks are way up there among the stars. We're talking about people like Bill Joy (founder of Sun Microsystems), Bill Gates (Microsoft), the Beatles, Mozart and Joe Flom (a founder of Skadden, Arps, Slate and Flom, a highly successful NYC law firm).

Gladwell found that one critical factor for success was the amount of time these folks spent in mastering their own field......all of these exceptional people had at least 10,000 hours of practise or study in their field. There's more to exceptional success than 10,000 hours for sure....the mix includes opportunity, hard work, timing, support, etc but 10,000 hours was a critical factor in their success. When the opportunities presented themselves, these folks were ready for success.

In a nutshell:
To achieve mastery or excellence: 10,000 hours
To be good: 8,000 hours
To be competent: 4,000 hours
Amateur level is 2,000 hours.

Well, I guess I'd better get on with it ; )

Friday, October 21, 2011

Financial Bailout: How it works

Image from, uploaded by OmirOnia

I have no idea who came out with this "explanation" of a financial bailout. 
A friend sent it to me and it gave me a good laugh:

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down harshly, and all the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit. 

On this particular day, a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a  €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. 

The owner gives him some room keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the  €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. 

The Hunger Site

image from The Hunger Site

Just by clicking on The Hunger Site once a day, we can help contribute free food to the hungry. 

There is no cost to us, as sponsors give 1.1 cups of food for each click. Food is distributed by the Mercy Corps, Feeding America and other charitable organizations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Drawing 9: A Pair of Slippers

Drawing 9: A Pair of Slippers, Colour Pencil. 
Oct 2011

So far, I've managed to keep to my commitment of one drawing a week.
My drawings are no way near the standard I'd like them to be. Hopefully with practise, they will improve.

One good thing: I discovered that drawing is a great way to improve my observation skills and I notice details which I would have missed before. So that is one good thing that's come out of this.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Drawing 8: Sewing Project - Everyday Capsule

Drawing 8: Sewing Project

I've been very lazy with practising pattern-drafting and sewing. I like designing and pattern-drafting. Basically I like the challenge of looking at a 2-dimensional design and working out how to make it into a 3-dimensional item of clothing. 

Unfortunately, I'm not too keen on sewing and view it as a necessary evil, to make my designs a reality. So I need to really discipline myself at the sewing stage, which is not easy at all to do. All I want is to get finished and started on the next project. This is strange really, as most people on the sewing/tailoring module prefer sewing more than pattern-drafting.

So, I'm going to get a start on #38 Learn to sew my own clothes and make one item a month on the 101 things list. 

I 'm planning to make a simple capsule wardrobe for everyday wear, using a practical, crease-resistant, poly-cotton print I found in my fabric stash. With 2 sets of top and skirt, I'll be able to have 4 different combinations as illustrated in the drawing above.

The colour of the print fabric is a sort of dull beige leafy pattern against a black background. After I had coloured it, the beigey pattern didn't really stand out so I tried using a gold ball-point to highlight it. Bad it looks like the fabric has a glittery pattern which is not the case at all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fashion from Milk? (and a recipe for Milk Plastic)

German Designer Anke Domaske makes clothes from Milk Fibre


This is a very exciting development from the fashion world and takes ecological fashion to the next level.

Anke Domaske, microbiologist turned fashion designer, has developed QMilch, a fabric woven from fibre made from milk protein.

The use of milk protein or cassein in fashion is not new, having been around since the 1930's. Lanital, a fabric popular in Italy in the 1930's is made from cassein fiber. Galalith, a plastic made from cassein was used to make buttons.  

In the past, the commercial variety was mixed with chemicals. QMilch is the first fibre to be made from natural ingredients and is chemicals-free. 

Want to make your own buttons from cassein?
I found this recipe from Instructables for a cassein plastic
It uses a 16:1 (Milk:Vinegar) ratio and you can do it in your kitchen. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds pretty easy to make the cassein. You'll probably need an extruder or a mold to make the buttons. Something I definitely want to try one day....... vintage-style buttons for a vintage-style dress. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
 ~ Steve Jobs, 2005

Steve Jobs gave the Stanford Commencement Speech on 12th June, 2005.  It's particularly poignant considering he  had  already been diagnosed with cancer for a year. He talks about his life, love, loss and death. 

The full text of the speech can be found on the Stanford News site here

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Drawing 7: Tractor under Trees

Drawing 7: Tractor under Trees, Oct 2011

Looked down from my balcony last weekend and saw this bright yellow tractor parked in a side lane opposite. I thought the contrast between the tractor and the greenery made an interesting subject for this week's drawing. The trees framed the scene nicely too. 

The trouble with drawing movable objects is, they move! 
I completed the drawing on Sunday and, as the light was fading, decided to colour it the next day. But the tractor had disappeared by then, so the colours of the tractor are from memory and imagination.