Saturday, November 17, 2012

Floors, Costumes, Backyard Tourism and Gordon Lightfoot

So, as I've been reminded, I owe you some photos.

Part 1, Chapter 1: painting the floor

'Before' painting the floor.
Hard to get an accurate photo under florescent lighting but the concrete is grey.
Trust me. Photo looking to SW corner of house and basement walkout door.
View out the walkout, to the south and Taktakmin Mountain across the valley.
Floor cleaning tools in foreground: garden hose, boat brush, bucket o' citric acid.

'After' photo, after many hours of scrubbing stubborn stains
(why oh why didn't I do this the first summer?!), after painting and after 3 days of drying.
 Part 1, Chapter 2: Bryan is currently working on framing the walls for wiring and finishing.


I haven't got complete photos of the entire costume yet ... never mind why.

This is one of the patterns I used. You can find it here.

Pattern for the medieval dress ... in Finnish with annotation in Canadian.
The surcotte pattern is similar but without sleeves and with longer armholes.
You'll notice that there aren't many curves in the layout and yet it is a very full skirt. That is due to the gussets set into the sides, front and back. It's a modified pattern - a 'real' medieval pattern would be entirely squares and rectangles, necessary to maximize handwoven yardage - expensive in the time and labour required to produce (again, trust me, I've woven handspun).

Laying out the dress pattern. 
This is the underdress being cut out. The surcotte (below) was already partially done. I was frustrated with some aspect of it, so hung it on Dummy Girl and proceeded on this piece. Once I cut it, I realized the neck opening was at too acute an angle, so trimmed it and adjusted my paper pattern. I also added gores in the underarm to make them fit more comfortably with better movement.

The surcotte on the dummy (and 'she' doesn't do it justice) prior to
tweaking and hemming.Taken at the same as above photos. You'll note the classy room I sew in.
When the front half of the basement is done, this is next to be done.

It's funny. We get caught up in the day to day stuff of life and forget that we live in one of the playgrounds of the world. 

Sunday morning two weeks ago, I proposed a day trip to Naramata. We'd been housebound with crappy weather and needed to blow out some cobwebs. Bryan had never been to that side of Okanagan Lake, so off we went.

Despite the covercast cover, or perhaps because of the dull light, the fall colours were gorgeous.

Looking south along Okanagan Lake from the east shore, at the end of the road north of Naramata.
The  Naramata Bench is an area worth taking some time to explore. In terms of wine, there are 21 vineyards on a very short stretch of road. It's not all wine, though. There are

It's not all wine, though. There are galleries and bistros, walking trails and spas. A nice place for a weekend.

Looking more west from the same spot as last photo.
Summerland is on the other side of the lake, as is Highway 97.


It's Gordon Lightfoot's 74th birthday today. I heard that on CBC driving in this morning. In tribute to a great songwriter and performer, I played "If You Could Read My Mind" video while working on ads. Second favorite Lightfoot song? This one: Canadian Railroad Trilogy


  1. Next week (fingers crossed) we have a very smooth and flat concrete floor being laid in our barn (7 by 20 metres). I hope ours ends up looking as good as yours!

    1. Thank you. My goat barn up north never did have a floor, so I'm happy for you that yours will.

  2. Oh, Brenda, your basement floor looks amazing! Can't wait to see the photos when it's all finished. Your pictures are beautiful. And...Gordon Lightfoot is my all-time favorite! Love that man! My favorite song is "Rainy Day People". My hubby got me the boxed set of all Gordon's songs some years ago for Christmas; and we saw him in concert in Duluth, MN about 5 yrs ago. Geezzz, sorry for rambling on. Man, I wish I was Canadian! Hope all is good in your neck of the woods. Love your post, btw.

    1. Thank you, too, Linda. I can now actually dream of my sewing room being finished and the floor loom set up. I'm embarrassed to admit how many fleeces I have stashed, waiting for time and room for processing.

      My youngest brother-in-law lives on the outskirts of Minneapolis - haven't been there yet but Bryan has. Hope winter is bearable so far.