Thursday, April 28, 2016

A few of my favourite things

Last week I threw away a skirt I've owned for more than a decade. It was a reversible double skirt: the inner skirt formed the lining for the outer skirt, either way it was worn. It was a truly clever design, and I've never found anything similar since. You might recognize one or both of the patterns in the image below. (I bought two of these skirts, with different colour palettes, when I originally found them; I threw the first one away a few years ago.)

Throwing away clothing (there was no passing the skirt on to Goodwill: it was in very poor shape) got me thinking about other clothes I've loved and lost. So this week's Throwback is a short list of faves (sadly, with none of my own pictures).

• Denim duster: I bought a distressed-denim duster during my first year in university and loved it to pieces — literally. A couple of years ago I gave away the fabric, which had been taken apart as the potential, but unrealized, pattern for a replacement. It looked something like this (but longer, at least on me):

• Black balloon skirt: It was a gift for my seventeenth birthday and is still tucked in a closet, although long unwearable. It was satiny and swishy, but never quite as balloon-like after the skirt was mis-washed once. It looked a lot like this, minus the bodice and bow belt:

• Red bolero hat: I'm not normally a hat person, but I loved my bolero hat and wore it often during the last year of my undergrad — once with a Flashdance–style cutoff t-shirt and a pair of men's jeans. I also had a black bolero jacket and a red-satin basque (with black polka dots) to complement it. The hat looked something like this, except the body was brilliant red and the band and braid were black:

 • Granny boots: After slouch boots in the early '80s, I owned several pairs of granny boots and loved them all. My favourite pair had kitten heels and silver hardware; I wore them until the heels were ground down to almost nothing. Wish I still had them! They looked a little like these, minus the detailing on top and with delicate, ornamental hooks; and they were all leather, not leather and suede (although I did have another pair very similar to these):

 • Band jacket: Inspired by Sgt Pepper et al., I bought an old-fashioned, navy-and-gold marching-band jacket, complete with braid and brass buttons. Sorta retro, sorta punk. I gave it away when we moved out of St Albert. My parents once had pictures of it.

As I type I'm thinking about so many other clothes I've loved over the years. My wardrobe on the boat is limited, to say the least, and the purging will continue over the next few weeks (I chose many of my clothes assuming that they would remain in BC after we left). Looking forward to rummaging in my closet — and buying a few new things — in a few months' time.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thank the gods I'm a verbal communicator

The submission of the "figures" to support my manuscript has been preying on my mind for a few weeks, and my deadline for submitting these materials is today. (I uploaded them yesterday, though, for the win!)

It's been difficult for me to imagine what my book will look like in finished form, and as I was writing I tried to include many different kinds of supporting materials, all loosely categorized as "figures." Some of these materials are sample documents, such as letters and reports; some are photographs, to demonstrate visually what I'm explaining with words; and some are illustrations. The illustrations have caused me special grief because ... well, take a look at the evidence below. The publisher asked me to submit sketches of what I want for each figure.

1. Sketch of a sewn book block: This is my sketch of someone else's illustration that had been photocopied several times. It gets the idea across, I guess, but it won't teach anyone the technical mechanics of manufacturing a sewn binding.

2. Sketch of hardcover case: Another sketch based on a model, in this case, a photo I took of an open hardcover book. I have no sense of line, proportion, or dimension, clearly.

3. Sketch of alternative bindings: At this point I was getting tired and frustrated, hence the somewhat sloppy drawing and the bizarre crenelation of the Cerlox binding. This was the last sketch I made, again using the model of an illustration in its seventh or eighth generation as a photocopy.

4. Fused sketches of perfect binding: This sketch was drawn based on two different Internet images; I made each sketch on a separate page, but soon realized that was an error: I wanted the images together. Rather than redraw them again (which might have caused my head to explode, as these were the third or fourth versions already), I folded the pages together. Et voilĂ . I particularly like the show-through of my first attempt on the verso.

Thank goodness a professional illustrator will redraw each sketch properly!

And that is how I spent most of my Thursday (and several hours back in December, too).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Missing Ms C

Hey-o, it's Thursday and I haven't been writing here much this month. Busy busy busy, y'know.

But I stumbled across this picture yesterday and was reminded how much I miss my people in Edmonton.

This cake was made in 2012. It was a big year, as you can read.

Thanks again, Ms C. See ya soon!


Friday, April 08, 2016

Truer words ...

Yesterday morning while getting ready for the day, I heard the following lines emanating musically from the main cabin of Never For Ever:

Shout! Shout!
Burn my ears out!
These are the songs I complain about.
Come on...

OK, so we had listened to seven or eight mashups or remixes at that point. But still ...

Monday, April 04, 2016

A few more picture books

One of the many benefits of working in the library every day is the chance to read far more picture books than I normally would. Here are the ones I read in March.

Jennifer Adams, Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart
Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama Red Pajama
Nikki Grimes, A Pocketful of Poems
Nikki Grimes, Words with Wings
Joyce Sidman, Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry
Joyce Sidman, Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
Chris Van Dusen, The Circus Ship
Kobi Yamada, What Do You Do with an Idea?

You'll notice that I'm reading a lot of children's poetry right now — and a lot of poetry in general. Not yet sure where that's leading, but it feels like a positive direction so far...

Can't believe it's April already! March certainly did leave like a lamb in Victoria, and today's forecast is for some of those April showers.

Here's hoping our last few weeks at GVPL will be productive. Onward!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Puff it!

The It thing to do this weekend was to make a PowerPuff girl avatar of yourself. Like a good lambie, I have done so, and here is the result.

C'est moi, non?