Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Sewing Novelty--Easy Stitching, Successful Projects

The new clothesline offers an opportunity for displaying my finished projects on hangers. Most of the sewing bloggers I follow have dress forms or nice full-length mirrors for displaying finished projects. I used to take my sewing projects outdoors for photographs because the old house was too dark for interior photos. Now, although I have a (reasonably) clean, well-lighted place to sew, I find I require daylight for photography, even when wind interferes.

I cut out this flannel shirt last fall, using my favorite altered Kwik-Sew 2777 men's dress shirt pattern. I'd finished the collar and cuffs during my shirt pattern testing session, but laid it aside. It was quick to assemble with my serger because I didn't bother with menswear details. It is, after all, simply a flannel shirt.

I used Kwik-Sew 2953 for this 1990's era rayon print, because the pattern works well in rayon (but nothing else, so far) and because the pattern pieces didn't cut the bold floral print into unidentifiable slices. I think it will be fine, and I skipped the mens' wear shirt details here too, telling myself that the serger works best for ravel-y, squirmy rayon.

And, because I had green thread on the serger (for another shirt), I sewed up some underbritches I'd cut out in a scrap-basket emptying frenzy some months ago. The stretch lace embellishments were also scrap-basket denizens.

This was a particularly enjoyable sewing session--no pattern alterations, no muslins, and quick, easy, serging. It's been a long time since I've had this much fun at the sewing machine!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Digikam Failure Fixed With phonon-backend-gstreamer

After the latest Debian sid update, Digikam quit working on one of my machines (but not the other). It would flash the start-up logo, then just disappear. Googling for this didn't turn up an answer, so I tried launching digikam from the command line, which gave me some error messages to search with. I found this discussion in a forum:

For some reason Dolphin (version 1.7) and digikam (version 1.9.0) keep crashing on me. Dolphin will crash on me every time my mouse cursor is over a video file. When I start digikam it will start to load and than disappear. I have just updated to kde 4.7.4 on AMD64 but this issue was happening before the upgrade. I have tried to run both programs from the console and I receive the same error message.
[0x16865a0] main services discovery error: no suitable services discovery module 
digikam: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/qt4/plugins/phonon_backend/phonon_vlc.so: undefined symbol: libvlc_audio_filter_list_get

That's exactly the sort of problem I was having (I don't use Dolphin very often, so I hadn't noticed that issue). Why sound module problems would affect a photo management problem is not obvious to me, but eventually the original poster announced:

I have solved the issue. I removed vlc-data along with it's dependencies which included phonon-backend-vlc. Now dolphin, digikam and system-settings do not crash for me. Now the only backend I have installed is gstreamer. I guess there is just something wrong with the phonon-backend-vlc package.

I immediately added the replacement for phonon-backend-vlc:

aptitude install phonon-backend-gstreamer

And the problem was solved. (I didn't bother to remove phonon-backend-vlc; it seems that phonon-backend-gstreamer just replaced it (and the forum participants indicated that there were problems involved in removing phonon-backend-vlc).

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Joyful Easter, With Catkins

Another holiday postcard from my grandmother's album--an Easter bell with alder catkins and lilies-of-the-valley, postmarked "Prescott, IOWA, MAR 28 ?PM, 1908." It reads:

Dear Florence, How are you getting along? I made garden last week, that is, I planted some lettuce and radishes and raked the yard Saturday. Can't you come down for Easter? We are going to color some eggs Saturday evening after the children go to bed. Good bye. Susie