Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learn Blacksmithing!

I don't know about you, but when I get an email from Facebook that says, "So-and-So invited you the the event 'LEARN BLACKSMITHING,'" I click the link.  Brought to you by the nice folks at SMArts.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Haha! It's called SoDo!

How pretentious can you get?  Brilliant!  I was informed by DG that the term for the South Main St. "emerging district" is called SoDo (SouthDowntown?).  Yeek, now to get back down there and take more pictures!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Look! Hogtown is Hip!

Well what do you know about that?  Actually, Gainesville's always been a hip town, at least the downtown area -- I remember a few years back they tried to designate the UF campus area as "downtown" in an effort to marginalize the east side of town, but that kind of fell flat.

The thing that's really been exciting me of late is the area south of the St. Francis House, along South Main Street.  It was painful watching this part of town die a long, slow death from economic cancer, and now it's suddenly revitalized into this little Bohemia.  Okay, let me rephrase that -- a Local Yokel Paradise?  No, wait, still not right...Locavore District?  Gah, nevermind -- anyway, here are some pictures of how this four-block area has really come back from the dead.

Behind the old Hi-Fi Warehouse, on the corner of Depot Road and South Main Street, the Kickstand first started, almost three years ago.  They're still going strong, thank goodness, providing a place for people whose only mode of transpo is of the manual, two-wheeled kind, to get help with repairs and education on maintenance.  I've talked about them in a 2009 post and I am so glad to see that this completely grassroots organization is doing so well and helping so many fellow hogtownians. 

The great thing is that the Acrosstown Repertory Theater is just across the street to the east, another completely local, downtown happening that's been going strong for 20 years, in an area that's seen many economic changes, both good and bad.  As the neighborhood switches from a strange mix of industrial/residential to mostly service and residential, it's going to be fun to see how it all shakes out.  I used to live in this neighborhood so I am well aware of what it was like 10 years ago. 

Next to the Kickstand is what is to become The Warehouse Restaurant and Lounge (the only link I could find was to Adrienne Jensen's portfolio page for the proposed website that will be up and running soon.  I emailed Adrienne to get permission to use the link -- really, I should just have gotten a photo of it).  It's based in what used to be an old car parts store for imported cars; it will be very exciting to see what it develops into as a chic, urban restaurant.
Update 5.10.10:  Adrienne was nice enough to email me back with permission to use the link, but suggested just using the link, because the new website would be up and running in a couple of days.  Thanks for the tip, Adrienne!

Across from The Warehouse and a little to the north is a strip of businesses that has been struggling for a long time.  Now it houses The Civic Media Center (or, as a Hogtown Alumni once referred to it, "The Michael Stivic Reading Room" [oh, alright, here's a link for the youngs who aren't catching the drift of this joke]).  I am so glad the CMC is in a good spot for growth -- it was housed on University Avenue for a long time in a space that I am sure drove the local realtors mad with lust because of its proximity to campus.  Soon there will be so many reasons to hop on your bike and come down to this part of town!  Right next door to the CMC is the real reason for this post:  The Citizen's Co-op has finally gotten a storefront after almost 2 years of fundraising.  It is in a great location, and the co-op, CMC, and the South Main Arts Center (SMArts) have a nice-sized parking lot just across the street to the south.  If you live in Gainesville, you know that parking is always an issue for the faint of cycling heart. 

I haven't visited SMArts yet, but I remember it used to be a bike shop for a long, long time; I bought a beloved bike from the guy who used to run the shop, for 5 dollars -- and he was willing to give it to me for free but I forced the issue (I only had 5-dollars in my pocket at the time, otherwise I would have given him more).  What a nice guy -- I hope he's doing well.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

More About Underwears

So, I've been thinking about moving to another underwear pattern.  The one I've been using forever is a Kwik Sew pattern that they don't even make anymore so, today, I started hunting around for a new pattern to use.  There is an ulterior motive to this; now that I am out of school and the Citizen's Co-op is about to open, I was hoping to host a class on urban survival gear for the eco-urbanite.  Sounds cool, huh?  Here's what I'm thinking:  Have a class of maybe 10 people for a 5-6 week class that meets once a week, and show them how to make 4 or 5 projects, like a dining kit, a tote bag, underwear (getting the picture now?), a cloth tissue holder, and...that's all I can think of right now.  I would have an instruction booklet to give them at the end so that they follow these instructions on their own, and the purpose of the meetings will just to get them off to the right start on thinking about how to sew and use these items.  I don't want to make money on this but I would like to at least pay for the cost of the booklet printing, the trouble the Co-op might have to go through to help me set it up, and maybe a small donation to the Need-a-Bag? Project.  So, depending on how the class shakes out it would be a suggested donation of x-dollars per person.

So, I need the underwear pattern so I can buy a bunch of them and include that into the price of the class. Yeah, I thought about just handing out a trace but that is dishonest.  And, if I find a pattern by an individual designer (like, say, through Etsy) I would be supporting their efforts.  I guess I could make my own -- Lord knows how many times I've used the Kwik Sew pattern, I could probably draw out a pattern on my own.  But, I am lazy.

In any case, I found this pattern for Cheeky-Panties through the Burda site.  I love Burda -- it's very "Euro" but some of their patterns are a hoot.  Anyway, if you go to the main Burda Style page, it says their patterns are copyright-free, so I guess I could just trace and give them out, but it just feels wrong.  But, as a tip, you can go to their site and look at the free patterns.  So, I'm going to try to do the Cheeky-Panties pattern and see if it will give me a heartier panty for use with t-shirts.  Really, the only problem with the Kwik Sew pattern I'm using now is that I have to use heavy-duty elastic on the waist or it falls off my butt!  I bought over 500 yards of lilac and powder blue panty elastic from Hospice Attic about a year ago, and each pair of underwears I've used them with just doesn't have the elasticity I need.  With the CATO Institute undies I made (see this post for pics) I clipped off about an inch of the waist band elastic the instructions says to use, and that seems to have helped. 

Most awesome Batman Underoos for adult females found at the Burda Style page for ParaNoire

Super Duper Summer Update: Underwears!

So, the first thing I did when I was finally done with the spring semester was make some underwears.  The first one, I don't know about -- I got this Cato Institute shirt at the Junior League awhile back, and I thought "ho ho, this will be so funny to have a Cato Institute pair of special edition undies."  See, it's got a dog (it's a greyhound because conservatives like to bet on the races, I think) and the caption around it says, "Running Dogs of Capitalism."  Wow, it's an ironic statement, so I thought by turning the shirt into underwear I would switch the irony and build on it a bit. 
And you'll notice the front part has the CATO institute logo on it that, to further the irony, was on the back side of the shirt.  It's all topsy-turvy this message for my underwear, and that's why I'm not so sure I'm bringing the right bit of irony in making this pair out of a CATO Institute t-shirt.  Because, you see, with the leftover shirt material, I made this cool Felix the Cat stencil for the butt part of the second pair -- I'm getting better at stenciling (and, so you don't have to hunt through other posts, I got the stencil from Kitty Buttons).  But see, here is the crux of my dilemma:  If I put the CATO Institute drivel on my butt and front-butt as an ironic statement to kinda sorta make fun of these bozos, then what is it saying to my beloved Felix?  I am in a quandary, but I will have to put off thinking about this for a bit -- the important thing is that I now have underwear and things were becoming quite dire in my collection, so I am not gonna complain about no CATO Institute thing on my butt.

Last note, I made the stencil from freezer paper, and lightly ironed it onto the material before stenciling with fabric paint.