Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm moving!

Just to a different blog. You can now find me and all my posts here at


Same name, same content, new platform. I think wordpress will give me a few more options, so thanks for following The Penny Farthing to its new home!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Terrarium Just Happened

A long time ago I got a lovely apothecary jar, and it's been sitting empty for the longest time, waiting to be useful and pretty. So when I stumbled into Artemesia, on 28th and Burnside awhile ago, it was a perfect fit.
An amazing terrarium example in the store.
 This shop is inspiring, full of lovely found objects, terrariums, conch shells, jawbones, hanging glass bowls, mossballs, and air plants. Materials are laid out on tables around the store with sweet wooden labels. Bring in your own container or buy one there, wander around and pick your favorite materials, and Amy, the store owner, will help you build your very own terrarium!

This is mine--a little miniature beach scene. I used red sand underneath the white, for a little sand art effect. Two succulents look pretty happy in there, with a piece of red moss resting beside them for a pop of color. The shells are all ones we've gathered from the Oregon Coast or our recent trip to Mexico. The great thing about these is that if I get tired of the shells, I can change them! As long as the plants are safe and cozy.

I'm quite inspired. I love how you can make these as big or small as you want to, in any container you can find. I have some red sand left over, so let the hunt for the next terrarium begin!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shiny New Bike, Courtesy of Jesse

A long time ago Jesse bought a frame off craigslist, got it powder-coated a pretty apple green, and promised he'd build me a new bike.
It took awhile. He was busy.
But now it's done! And she's beautiful!! The frame has a drop bar so I can ride in skirts easier, but it's still sturdy and fast enough to get me to work on-time every morning. The saddle is supposedly going to get very soft and comfortable as it molds to my behind, but it's a little hard right now. Hammered fenders (the front one isn't installed yet) make it so classy, along with the Brooks leather saddle and pretty cork grips. I'm in love! I've already gotten compliments on it--all credit goes to Jesse.
One problem was the thumb shifter, which liked to drift back down to the harder gears, without my knowing it. I would be pedaling along and suddenly the chain would snap into another gear, and the whole bike would shudder. Jesse heroically got me a new shifter and installed that this week, and my inaugural ride to work was without mishap.
I like to get into the habit of thinking of a bike as the default mode of transportation. Work, grocery store, out to dinner, the park...all can be easily reached by bike. Lately I've been bad at that. I haven't had a bike for a few months, and both were in pieces, and then I've been annoyed with the shifter, so I've taken to driving or busing to work more often. But really--I live in Portland, one of the easiest cities in the US to bike in, so I really should be biking more. And it's summer--no rain to contend with! I've really got to get back out there. So now that the shifter is all better, we're off to explore!

Now I just need a name for her! Any ideas?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Finishing Up

Everything I made this summer was gearing up for our Cabo trip. Now that it's over, I'm not sure what to make anymore! I have two dress patterns for fall--but I'm not willing to admit that summer will be over anytime soon, so those are out. So, while I figure out what I'm making next, here are two easy things I just finished up this week:
Summer Swooshy Apron
I started this months ago, but it kept getting pushed back--it's finally done! I love how full the apron is.  I actually should have just extended the fabric some and made it a cute skirt, because from the front that's what it looks like. From the back, there's a nice open "framed" view... Maybe a skirt will be next time, in another fabric.
Why do my feet look ridiculously small in this picture? I don't know.
This color reminds me of watermelon, and summer, and hot days. I think a mojito would look fabulous in front of that color. It would also taste fabulous.
Braided Collar Tank 
I almost got this finished in time for Mexico, but then I got lazy, and didn't. But now it's done! The fabric came from a sack-type dress I've had for years, that I was a bit tired of. It was the kind where it just hangs on you, but with a belt it looks cute. I was tired of that style, and this braided tank pattern looked cute, so I went for it. In retrospect, I should have lined up the stripes better. Stripes will be the end of my sewing career, I'm sure of it. But for a casual hot-weekend tank, it works.
Next up, I'm mulling over what to do with some gorgeous Batik pillowcases my co-worker gave me. Maybe a skirt? Is there enough fabric? Hmm.... Also, I'm still miserable about my cutting mistakes, and I don't know what to do. Now I realize I may have completely neglected to cut a section. Great. No more cutting out patterns while watching movies.

Things to ponder... for now, I will drink a pomegranate margarita and enjoy the sun.

a little ridiculous, old-school, and oh so stylish