Clothespin apron

So I made a comment and got a reply that made me realise not all had as brilliant a grandma as I did. She made sure everyone of her family had a clothespin apron. The one she made for mum is long gone, as is the first I made for myself. This is my third, and I have changed the design slightly.

No measures on this sketch, you just need a big enough piece to cover your front. Mine is about 50×45 cm (18″x20″). Shoulder straps long enough to cross over. A piece of fabric for the pocket that is 10 cm (4″) wider than the main piece. 

I am assuming here that any who reads this knows how to sew, so this is not very detailed. 

  • Edge the angled parts of both apron and pocket. If you choose to line the whole thing, omit this step. If you line the pocket only, edge the angled parts of the apron.
  • Make the shoulder straps and handle, attach them to the top edge, fold the top edge over to hem and edgestitch so that handle and straps point up. If lining, just attach to the edge.
  • Sew the pocket, i.e box the lower corners, and if you’re lining it sew the pocket front and lining together at the top half: angled part, across, angled part.
  • Attach pocket to front at the sides, and shoulder strap to the top of where the pocket meets the side of the apron. Fold over/hem all sides. (Or forget about finishing the edge if you, you know, line it). Attach the top of the pocket so that you allow some room. Say your pocket is 20 cm tall, then attach the top ca 15 cm up from bottom. Reinforcing the fabric here is a good idea. Either iron on or use a sturdy ribbon on the back of the apron – especially if the weave is a bit loose.
  • If you’re lining this baby, now is the time to attach the lining at all sides, leaving a gap (for instance across the top). Turn it, and edgestitch all around to finish.
  • Fill pocket with clothespins, and enjoy the ease of having the pins in a very easy to reach place.

An important thing to remember is that it should not be too long, you need to be able to reach the bottom of your pocket! An earlier version I made had button fastening of the shoulder straps, so that they could be shortened for the kids.

A note on fabric: I love natural fibers, so that’s what I use. And I love these wild patterns which I got as samples from a furnishing shop. It’s a curtain fabric actually, and while I would never have curtains like that (that’s a bit too much), I love it for details. But, this could also be made with mesh, in case you just want to leave your clothespins out by the line all the time. I have a hook on the wall, under the roof, so they’re not drenched every time it rains. 

If you make one, I’d love to see it. Would you leave a link to a photo or post in comments?

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Week three of my personal sketch challenge

Woohoo! I made ot through another week, and the week leading up to solstice at that (solstice knocks me out), so I’m rather chuffed. Posted daily at Instagram @windingsorensen. I do find it quite interesting how some days are a breeze, wheras other days are a struggle. Today I felt like giving up the whole thing – but when I finally managed to put pencil to paper it flowed easily (but you won’t see the result until next week, unless you hop over to Instagram).

So, here are days 15-21:

Not sure how obvious the f in flag(g) is here. And maybe I should’ve used two different g’s? Flag in Norwegian has a double g (as you can see).

I had fun drawing multi in multi ways, otherwise this was a meh day.

Quite happy with what I got today – especially erase. It’s rather silly, being so pleased with one’s own ideas, but I was really happy with this one.

A common theme with all three today, flirt and the colour red/rød and heart are all closely linked in my mind.

The tomato feels terribly unoriginal, like my other sketches I seriously doubt I was the first to have this idea. But I’m pleased with the cube.

Another drag-it-out-of-myself day. The can DLE was amusing though, I like puns. Coming up with something that’s a five minute sketch is surprisingly hard. Especially in a second language. And I’m actually quite fond of my pentagonagram…

Happy solstice! Thank goodness we’e now past it. Hopefully the summer grows warm and lovely from here on, because it’s rather nippy at the moment. And I found another pun.

So that was my third week, one more and a few days left. It *is* good to challenge myself, and to find that even though I really struggle at times and stare at the paper feeling totally brain dead, I do manage to get it done. And I honestly think a few of them are quite decent.


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Sketch challenge. week two

I did it! I managed another week. Never thought that would be a problem, but I’ve had some rather painful days lately. On Tuesday I didn’t even realise I had forgotten to do my sketches until late at night. But I did them, and I’m very proud of that.

Living with a chronic disease (for me that’s MS) has made me be very much in the now. So much so that I often forget things I think I should do. If I’m in pain, I’m in pain – and looking for things to distract me. I’ve not come to the place where drawing is what I use, but hopefully I’ll get there. Well, actually I hope I get to the point where I don’t need any distractions from pain at all. That would be something! 

So, then – here are my sketches from week two of this challenge. It’s a bit amusing how much these reflect where I was that day. Not all, but quite a few. And no filters – day 14 is blue because it was photographed outside in the evening, just before sunset.

Day 10, bottom right. Can you guess what it says? People seem to struggle with it.

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First week of my sketch challenge

So, I’ve now done a week of my personal June challenge – sketch each day.  The format is small, just 10×10 cm, and is done in pencil – and quick. These are five minute sketches, at most.

Day 1:


Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7:

So far the verdict is that this is incredibly fun, and the biggest problem I have is stopping at three – and making sure I stay in the quick sketch format. Which is a bit tricky, because I don’t draw on single pages, it’s a bloc with 250 sheets. But it’s good exercise. The whole point was to pick up a pencil again, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m also learning to say that it’s good enough. And they are, really. I’m not aiming for Munch here (though he too had a lot of quick sketches, some definitely not so good).

I’ve been playing a bit with words that are similar in Norwegian and English, and I am reacting to what goes on around me and in the world. Today has been a very wet day, for instance.

On to week two! And, if anybody wants to see the daily updates, they can be found on instagram, @windingsorensen 

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Sketching challenge

Yesterday I was listening to an interview with Caroline Myss on YouTube, and when I listen to webinars/interviews/some such thing, I need something mindless to occupy me to keep my body from fidgeting. I’ve been knitting a lot while listening, but the shawl I’m knitting right now demands too much as I haven’t landed the pattern yet. And so I’ve been playing patience, which is fun but frustratingly unproductive and usually shows how much pain I’m in, more than anything else. Grabbing a deck of cards is a good way to distract myself from pain, as I don’t need to think. So I decided to grab my mini bloc of sketching paper. I used to draw constantly, but after my MS forced me from art/design school I found it very hard to pick up a pencil again. Or a brush or chalk or whatever. On one hand, my creativity is inextricably linked to who I am, and as far as I am able to discern I have more than one archetype linked to creativity. On the other hand, pursuing creativity as a career produced so much stress that I became horrendously ill, and I exited my dream education by way of a 2 1/2 week stay in hospital. Somehow that experience made a link in my subconscious between being creative and becoming seriously sick. Fast forward 21 years, I am now a mum with two kids that are growing up beautifully, and I have done a lot of inner work to clear all these crap links. Because, far from becoming ill by being creative, the opposite is true. If I don’t create, I become ill. And I yearn to get back to drawing and to develop as an artist. With parenting being less time consuming – babies and toddlers eat you whole, teens not so much – I think it’s time to seriously pursue my creativity again. Which brings me back to the beginning of this post, listening to Caroline Myss. Instead of grabbing the deck of cards I grabbed my miniature Grand Bloc. 10×10 cm. Perfect size for non-threatening sketching. 

She was talking about grace, and the need to embody this, so I drew the word and added some hears and naïve flowers. 

Then the theme became destiny, and I drew that word. 

And that was it. Yesterday, that is. This morning I sat down and decided I needed to find more words to draw, so I drew “vennlig” which is Norwegian for friendly.

No more words yet, because I realised I needed to challenge myself. I need to draw at least one word daily, but preferably more. Will five be to many? Maybe I should settle for three? And maybe I should also grab a pen and ink the outlines before colouring. Who knows. Anyway, the thing is, that being as rusty as I am I have to make sure I allow myself time to build up my stamina. So maybe only one to three drawings a day. Quick pencil sketch only. So, as we’re on the last day of May, let this be my goal for June. Daily doodles of a word or phrase. And posting to instagram @windingsorensen daily, with weekly updates here. That should be doable, though my belly tells me it’s not so sure. Fingers crossed! Wish me luck, and if you have a word or (short) phrase you’d like me to work with, feel free to add it to the comments.

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In November I started LDN, or Low Dose Naltrexone. It’s an opiate antagonist, it blocks the cells’ opiate receptors, and is used in very low doses to treat auto immune diseases like MS, which is my reason for taking it. The idea is that by blocking the opiate receptors the cells think there are no endorphines circulating and ask for increased production. This means you up your endorphin levels, which again is said to help regulate the immune system. 

I got a tremendous boost when I started, suddenly I had the energy need to tidy a horrendous mess in the basement, for instance. It was brilliant, and we all looked forward to the completion of loads of projects around here. Hah! After two weeks the fun was over and I got an increase in MS symptoms instead. More numbness, to the degree that I am not sure where my right leg is or what it does anymore. So, you’d think that I could just stop taking LDN, after all it doesn’t work? Well, that’s not so easy. I forgot my LDN one night, and let me tell you – both the next day and the following were a total, complete, living nightmare. Absolutely hellish. I feel trapped between a rock and a hard place. 

Cue internet research. Finally I found a forum where this was discussed – the rare few who have an adverse reaction to LDN. According to the good doctor (who has since died, unfortunately), patients with an adverse reaction have Candida overgrowth, but when this is treated they respond well to LDN. Long story short, I have had two weeks with 100 mg Diflucan (not the treatment suggested), but has it helped? Nope. Drat, drat, drat. And my holistic GP who prescribed the LDN does not feel that more medication is the way to go. Not even the treatment suggested. Now, I don’t hanker for medication per se – but I’d love to feel better! Those first days were amazing, but is that all I’m going to get? If anybody has any experience in this or has some research papers I should read – don’t hesitate to tell me! 

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I guess most of us have made some versions of these over the years – at least in school. In my family we didn’t use standard paper, we used tissue paper instead. Cutting in the beggining of December, unfolding the “snowflakes” and leaving them in a big book to be pressed for a week or two, then gluing them to the window. Where they’d stay a month or two, until they would be washed off. It’s been a rather lovely art-in-the-moment. I’ve enjoyed cutting these, and I found quite early I had a talent for making these. Over the years I’ve made quite a few – and have sent them to both friends and family all over. The only problem being that I got complaints – how  can I save these? I don’t want to destroy them! Too bad, I said, that’s just the nature of these. They’re very temporary art. Eventually my sweet hubby had had enough of these complaints and bought a laminator. So now I’m cutting, finger-pressing open, then ironing them to remove the creases as much as possible before I laminate them. Then I cut them out free-hand. And finally I punch holes and link them together or add beads and make ornaments – though the latter I only do with the small ones.

I really enjoy making heads, there’s always been princes and princesses on my mum’s windows for christmas. This is a smallish one, 13 cm Ø.

Every year I end up with a new design, this leafy flower is this year’s.

Now all I need to do is to find out how to set up shop, because there is a limit to how many we – or mum – need.

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