Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Well-Deserved Vacation

The past few months were busy and stressful for many reasons not the least of which was that B and I were both involved in a community theatre production of RENT as Vocal Coach and Costume Designer respectively.

Even though there was almost no sewing involved in costuming RENT there were a lot of obstacles that I automatically turned into stress for myself. Limited budget, difficult body types to find clothes for and ridiculously quick/numerous costume changes were the big three.

80% of the costume pieces were found at second hand stores and the rest were from cast member's closets, the theatre company's costume cache and my own closet (turns out my current wardrobe is that of a lesbian lawyer/bohemian performance artist from the 90s).

I've learned that I'm not a good leader, but I am an excellent helper. I would never take on this responsibility alone again, but would happily help out someone else.

The performances went really well, the cast was amazing, and in the end I had fun.

Three days after the last performance, B and I went on vacation for two whole weeks. We chose to go to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, B.C. — B is into brewing his own beer lately, and I liked SanFrancisco so much, Portland seemed like a good place to go (it being the craft beer mecca of the world and having the same west-coast sensibilities as SanFran). We have friends that just moved to Vancouver and it's so close to Portland we decided to go there as well.

Good things about Portland:
1. Incredibly good public transportation
2. Friendly people
3. Doughnuts
4. Home of Rogue Brewery (that one's for B)
5. Saw my first NBA game (the Trailblazers won)

The weather was not awesome. We had freezing rain the first day, which was better than the 8 inches of snow that was expected, followed by three days of sun accompanied by the coldest wind that the good people of portland refused to recognize. I was wearing 4+ layers on top with a toque on my head and wool socks on my feet and walked by some dude riding his bike wearing nothing but shorts and running shoes. Keep Portland weird.

Highlights were the Trailblazers game, the jazz club, the fish and chips and salad we shared at a little pub and watching Interstellar (best movie I've seen in a long time) at the old theatre there.

In Vancouver, we stayed with friends for two nights and finished off the last three nights at a beautiful hotel downtown. Our friends have a delightful 6 month old that is so beautiful and cute I just want to bite her face. It was hard to leave her.

Highlights from Vancouver:
1. The Vancouver Aquarium: I hadn't been there since I was 12 and for the $30 admission/person, it was totally worth it.
2. Pie: For some reason, it was next to impossible to find pie in Portland–and I love me some pie.
3. Lunch with a friend of my best friend from University. She has her own production company and is making a movie. It was fascinating finding out about her project. If/when she makes it to TIFF, I'll post about it.
4. Our friend's baby. Seriously the cutest.
5. Our nice hotel room at the end of a long trip where we took afternoon naps every day.

For the last few years, every trip I've gone on I've gotten fabric as a souvenier. I Zeroed-in on one brochure in the lobby of our Portland hotel.

Fabric Depot is a quilter's paradise. About 30% of this massive store is dedicated to apparel fabric (which is where I spent all of my time). There was also an impressive array of notions where I picked up some steam a seam and chalk refills, both of which I can't get locally anymore (not at fabricland anyway). 

B picked out fabric for a shirt and pants and I found more colourways/patterns of the same thick flannel that I picked up in SanFran and made this shirt. It's Robert Kaufman plaid flannel which you can find at I got this one this time:

Here all all of my new lovelies: 

I admit it's a pretty tame pallet by my usual standards. From left to right: 

1. cotton shirting for B (Portland – Fabric Depot) 
Will be a shirt – long sleeve or short depending on how my guess at yardage pans out.

2. charcoal stretch denim (Vancouver – Atex Fabrics $7/m) – for me. 
I copied a pair of my shorts this summer (post to come) and want to use that pattern to make jeans. 

3. Black quilted ponte knit (Vancouver – Dressew Supply)
Planning to mix with plain black ponte in a sweatshirt/jacket/hoodie or some such thing.

4. Grey cotton corduroy for B (Portland – Fabric Depot) – pants. 

5. My precious. (see above)

6. Purple stretch corduroy (Vancouver – Dressew Supply)
Found in the discount section for something like $4/metre. They will be pants for me. 

I'm pattern-testing a little Christmas craft at the moment (will post), then I've really got to get stash busting. I've got a cute idea for my nieces/nephew's christmas present this year that I hope to share with you soon as well. 
Be well!