What did you do over summer vacation, my lovely goddess?
I wonder if elementary teachers still assign kids to write an essay entitled “What I did over summer vacation”.
Mine no longer go to the little-kid-school so I don’t know the answer to that.
Here’s what I did.
(Other than moan about the heat…..)
OK, I admit. It wasn’t exactly holiday & margarita time.
Not for me anyway.
Was it for you?
Did you go anywhere exciting? Tell me about it!
I *tried* to work but boooyyyyy was it HOT this summer! (There I go complaining about the heat again.)
I spent more time sweating and thinking that I *should be* working than actually working.
If you’ve ever lived in a hot climate sans A/C,
then you’ll know exactly that a human body feels
like a stick of butter sitting out on a hot city street.
Ahhh, yes, but today autumn is now in full swing and the weather couldn’t be more perfect!
My brain is finally functioning and I am finally able to post a bunch of photos with a clear mind.
Here goes, my lovelies!
First of all, to keep track of time, I took this photo of my front window in the very beginning of spring. (Right, I know this is supposed to be about summer, not spring! Remember this photo. There will be a quiz question about this later. 😉 )
Pretty, huh? I love the view, too!
What you see below is a rough draft . Instead of making sketches, I often jump right in and try to create what is in my mind, while praying that my fingers stay nimble and cooperate. I was toying with the idea of being able to carry a small vial of perfume around like a necklace.
The project still needs a lot more tweaking. This may be a future collaboration with a perfume maker. But sshhhh, don’t tell anyone. It is still a secret!
Next stop: a trip to the farmer’s market! I’ve lived here so many years and I still loooove going to buy the freshest and finest fruit and veggies at the weekly outdoor market. I didn’t take my camera with me this time but here’s what I brought home.
Summer in July: nectarines and melon.
This Spanish melon is named “Piel de Sapo”. A very unappetizing name for one of the most delicious summer fruit of all time! What’s the translation? Toad Skin Melon. Yuck or Yum?!
Here’s the bounty from a different day:
August bounty: 3 different types of plums, cantaloupe melon, and black grapes.
(Can you guess we love to eat fruit around here?)
After getting a nice, healthy sugar rush from all that fruit, my work / play time began.
I made some bags.
They are made of linen, my imagination, and interesting tidbits from my overflowing collection of “cool stuff that I can’t throw out yet”.
Doesn’t this bag look adorable sitting on my sofa next to the new cushion covers? ( I also made the cushion covers this summer out of Lithuanian linen because the old ones were all sad and bedraggled.)
See that painting? Too bad you can’t see the whole thing here. My uncle is an artist. He made it. This is definitely the most precious piece of art I own. I’ll have to take more photos of it another day. In the meantime, you can see more paintings by Vytautas O. Virkau here.
This is the other side of the green linen bag.
Here’s a completely different bag with views of the Spanish sand, blue sky, and golden sun.
Long live the summer!
Here are all the summer flowers blooming on the other side of that bag.
Here’s the inside of the bag. Lots of pockets and more flowers!
Sometime between the fruit shopping and the bag-making, a blue moon came and went.
I was inspired to take some photos and even write a teeny poem.
Can you see the words “Here Now” in there???
Time for a completely different project.
Here I am dying a vat of linen. This kind of activity is best done outside.
Good thing I lack no outdoor space!
Hot boiling water on a hot summer day.
Way to go, Indre!
Pot of gold!
Drying in the summer sun. It should actually have been in the shade but I didn’t have enough of that! In any case, it dried within minutes so the lovely fabric wasn’t out in the sun very long.
I decided to name this color “Golden Sands of Sahara”. Beautifully luscious, don’t you think?
And now it is time to make a dress out of the lovely linen. Here is it laid out and already cut in my sewing studio.
(This is the time of year when the name “sweat shop” was a very apt description of this place.)
Oh, in case you are wondering. Yes. Those are stones. Real stones. From the beach.
I use stones as weights when cutting my fabric. Very handy!
Now I am sewing a bit of bias tape that goes in the dress.
In case you are a sewer and are curious to know: I’m using a special attachment that magically turns a strip of fabric into bias tape.
I’ve nick-named my old industrial Singer “Old Faithful”.
I was in a hurry to get the beautiful dress sent off to my client, so I didn’t take a photo! Oh, well! It really looked stunning in that golden color. As I was packing it up, I could just picture it being worn together with a chunky honey-colored amber necklace.
I don’t know what kind of necklace my client wore with the dress but I know she does have very dark hair. This golden color must look stunning on her!
Since I can’t show you photos of that other dress,
here’s one I took of the sample dress in ivory linen.
Next I made another one in black linen. Here’s the linen laid out on the table before cutting.
Another favorite tool of mine. A hand-sized cutter.
And now for something completely different.
Ideas on my jewelry-making table.
View of the entire desk top. OMbejesus. Yeah, it IS a mess! *yikes*
(Please note that I do not usually allow people to see this. )
I have at least a 458 ideas laid out on this desk. All at the same time!
Here I had to clear some space and make a bunch of sterling silver earrings that got sent out to a quaint gift shop in North Carolina. If you are ever in North Carolina,
make sure to stop by The Qi Garden.
“Hey, mom”, I hear my son say one fine summer morning. “”Could you help me take some photos of my donkey skull please”? (Say whaaaa…??? You are wondering what this is all about. Briefly, my son is a musician in a band called Donkey Hot Pink. To create the album cover for the band, he took an old cow skull, made donkey ears out of papier mâché, and painted it bright pink, black, and white. We had found that skull some years ago abandoned in the countryside and took it home. Can you tell we live in a crazy creative household?)
I took lots of photos that morning. Here are 2 of them.
We both decided that these photos weren’t exactly right, so we asked a professional photographer for his help. Here’s the clear winner:
photo by Rod Westwood
It was exactly what the band wanted! The album is due to be out soon. We are looking forward to that!
Time to eat!
It was too hot to cook many days so I’d often make smoothies instead of meals.
One of my favorite had frozen bananas, a mix of frozen berries, raw almonds, and rice milk.
Yummy, healthy, and nutritious, too!
This is an Egyptian papyrus. I have lots of them in my garden.
I like the way a single one looks in a simple bottle and often have one on my big wooden table.
Did you know that the word “paper” comes from the word “papyrus”?
That’s because the ancient Egyptians first made paper using dried papyrus.
I love words and love learning curious facts like this. Don’t you?
More great food on a hot summer day. This time I prepared a salad and even baked some rye bread. I improvise when I make salad. Other than lettuce, this one had nectarines, red peppers, raisins, raw pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of candied ginger. My mouth waters just writing this and looking at the picture…..
The rye bread I baked.
Some of my friends say I should forget about fashion and become a professional chef.
I enjoy cooking (better yet, eating the result!) but prefer to treat it as a hobby.
Remember the very first photo up there?
Can you spot the differences between the first photo and the one below?
The sun wanted to be in the photo, too!
First week of September. Here comes the rain! Finally, the hot spell was over. What a relief! I do love the summer but it was hotter and more humid this year than ever.
View of the teeny town of Mojacar up on the hill.
Did you like the visual journey?
Do you think I should continue making bags, jewelry, and dresses?
Or become a professional cook?
Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to tell me a bit about your summer, too!