30 June 2006

thank heaven

for four-day weekends. and hydrangeas. Praise providence for making July 4 a Tuesday and praise my boss for letting us "faire le pont" as the French would say (bridging between the weekend and the tuesday holiday. The French are really much more savvy about this holiday business.) Anyhoo, here's a bit of my fun list for the weekend:

wimbledon! (I'm going to stick my neck out here and predict Andy Roddick will win. of course, Federer will probably win, but i always like an underdog.)

cinnamon buns (inspired by the lovely dora)

long walks

sour cherries

farmers market

blogging! (I've been a little lax--and I think a little sidebar redecoration action is in order. Twin's is newly blingy and I really must keep up with the neighbors.)

crafting MacGyver style. There are many many projects stewing in my little brain. But I have vowed not to buy any more crafting supplies. So I will be ingenious with the materials I have at hand.

indulge in a silly and overly elaborate summer movie (or maybe two)

and who knows what else?

26 June 2006


I used to store my metrocard in my wallet, which required pulling out the entire wallet while weaving through heavy crowds at the 34th street station, swiping the card, and then depositing it back in the wallet after going through the turnstile. This was extremely stupid. I should perhaps have just put a sign on my forehead that said "I'm stupid. Please rob me." Or I could have just voluntarily handed the wallet to the sketchiest person I saw with my best wishes for a happy shopping spree.

Jennie is far wiser than me and stored her card in a mini wallet I crocheted for her last year. She liked it, but I felt it was rather unseasonal. So I made little summery metrocard holders for us. Hers has a "J" (my first freezer paper stencil project--though surely not my last) and mine has a carefree luau girl with a jaunty come-hither kind of look.

I was going to top-stitch them to lie very flat, but I had a slight miscalculation with the seam allowances. Adding fractions really shouldn't cause me so much trouble, but, alas, it does. But the cards fit quite nicely, and I actually ended up liking the rounded edges and bulbousiness of it.

I am on a brand new money-diet. Being now gainfully employed and unable to rationalize living beyond my budget by assuming a larger income in the foreseeable future, I can no longer continue to live in the red. Or at least, I can't keep getting redder and redder. So in the back pocket of my new metrocard holder is a little notebook for jotting down all my expenses. I tried using a penny as a stamp (the round motif across the top). Yeah, that didn't really work. I guess that's why stamps are generally made of some squishy material. ah well.

So now I won't get robbed and am determined to track my spending. I feel so fiscally responsible.

24 June 2006

hey, is that elvis?

The other day I dipped a marshmallow into chocolate mousse and pulled it up to find myself staring at a very debonair young crooner with a fine head of hair all greased back into a perfect wavy 'do.

I gave him peppercorn eyes and took a picture. Then his hair began getting a little limp and melty, so I ate him. Without the peppercorns, of course.

lazy days

I find one of the most defining elements of personality to be one's natural energy level. My boss, for instance, is one of those people who is always cheery and bright, working 12 hours a day without blinking an eye and energy enough left over for a busy social life in the evenings. On a scale of 1 to 10 of natural energy levels, I'd say she is a 9.

I think I myself clock in at around 4.5. Of course, this fluctuates. Last week, for instance, I was riding a high 7 and couldn't find enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wanted to do. This week I find myself sleeping a lot and relishing my 45 minute subway ride, gazing meditatively out the window at the dark, repetitive succession of passing steel girders. A lazy, hazy stupor that probably registers a 2 on the natural energy scale. Or maybe a 3—a few modest but important steps away from completely comatose.

I am learning to embrace the ebbs and flows of my energy. I think this is one of the good things about getting older. I accept that I am alloted a certain amount of energy—some days more and some days less than the average. And while the energetic days are good, I can also enjoy the chill, tranquil joy of staring blankly at an invisible spot approximately 8 inches from my nose. No, I'm not high, I'm just very relaxed.

It would be extremely helpful to have an LCD screen on my wrist that could broadcast to the world my current position on this natural energy scale. So when my boss asks me to do something, I can just point to it, and say, "dude. I am only a 3 today. You can pile all that work on my desk if you want, but I can not possibly complete it all. Check back next week."

Because the energy will come back. It always does. And luckily there are few external demands on my time right now, so I have the wonderful luxury of listening to my body, and resting.

20 June 2006

a quilt and a bunny to welcome a new little friend

Somebody remind me in the future not to try to finish a quilt (even a baby-sized one) in 2.5 weeks. At least not until I'm more experienced or grow two more hands. But I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I followed the plan just about exactly, but ended up using the green on the binding, which makes a nice contrast on the back side.

A Wee Bunny hopped along to help welcome the baby. He's pink, which I think is very nice, and his soft tummy is made from one of those hotel shoe-buffing mitt thingies that Twin brought home from a business trip. Getting creative as I am still rather wary of fabrics other than straightforward cottons. Will have to get over that soon. If you have never visited it, you should go see the Wee Bunny gallery, which is quite impressive. No close-ups of this Wee Bunny as his little back is rather pathetically hand-stitched up. It was nearing 2am by that point, and hand-eye coordination was waning. But he has a little white pompom of a tail attached to his butt. You can use your imagination.

"Apara" means "beyond comparison." And with two such lovely parents, I have no doubt that Apara will be just that. Can't wait to meet her.

I made chocolate cupcakes for the shower from my grandma's recipe. I wanted to send some home with the mama-to-be, so I packaged up mini-cakes for both her and my boss, who had informed us just the day before that she herself is also expecting a baby. This means that 40% of our little office is now expecting. My Mom said she hopes it's nothing in the water. I told her I thought the water is probably safe to drink for those of us who are experiencing a slight drought of men.

Here's a close-up of the tag I made for the chocolate cake packages. I couldn't resist. They were supposed to be brown and salmon, but turned out hot pink and purple as my printer was obviously missing some key ink element.

And here are the little cards I made. Brand-new parents in pink and a growing family in blue. So, there's another little baby to prepare for, and this time I will hopefully plan ahead well enough to avoid a late night involving bleeding onto the quilt binding, running to the kitchen to stir the ganache, accidentally smearing ganache all over the Wee Bunny, shouting expletives at the printer, and sudden movements with a dodgy X-Acto. But then that might take all the fun out of it.

17 June 2006

i read a book!

Not getting much reading in these days, but I did manage to read a couple books over vacation. Head over to jennie's b(ook)log to read my review of Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore.


I am in complete sensory overload. TOO MUCH CUTE! Can't stand it! AAAAAHH!

Renegade was great. After touring around the 200+ booths, twin and I were glazed-eyed and weary and had to come home and take a nap. So much great stuff, and I thought there was even more variety than last year.

So here are the highlights of the cool stuff that came home with us:

Necklaces for two both. Jennie's (top) is from Sprout Studio. There were so many incredibly beautiful things at this booth, I had to be dragged away. And the owner, Jenifer Lake, was incredibly nice and cool. My necklace (bottom) came from Marcie McGoldrick. I saw these porcelain beauties last year but didn't buy one, then completely regretted it later. So this year, I was looking especially for her, and there she was. I bought the green one, and then she let me pick out one of her slightly irregular seconds to go with it. So I got the pink one too--and I almost like it better for its tiny imperfections.

Paper! The two top left are by If'n Books & Marks. In case you can't read them, they say "sensitive sally" and "rotten." Thought these were fitting for Jennie and me. Your guess which is which. The two cards bottom right are by Rar Rar Press out of chicago (no web site but email is rarrarpress@yahoo) I love the cake one so much.

And last but definitely not least. Reprodepot was there with enormous garbage bags full of remnants. !!!!!!! They were selling it by the pound--which ended up at around half their normal prices. !!!!!!! They just have the coolest prints and I came home with an extremely bright and cheerful collection.

I'm still recovering. May need another nap.

pix from the trip

I finally got all our vacation pix edited and up on flickr. Going through them this morning was so much fun, and made me want to turn right around and go back to the beach.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Outer Banks, they are the thin barrier islands that run almost the entire length of the coast of North Carolina. There's only one bridge that connects it to the mainland, at Kitty Hawk (where the Wright Brothers first flew an airplane). The farther north and south you go from Kitty Hawk, the more isolated it becomes. This year we rented the cutest little cottage all the way at the northern end near the village of Corolla. Like the rest of the Outer Banks, Corolla is becoming more densely populated with enormous beach houses, but happily still retains its charming fishing village kind of feel.

The beaches are never crowded and the sand is ultra-soft. I love it. I want to go back.

16 June 2006


Friday is red. Not too difficult to find red in this apartment as Twin has an absolute passion for the color. This is the miniature sailboat she got in NC on our beach trip. Neither of us knows how to sail, but we both have it on our list of things to learn some day. Or maybe we'll just hire someone else to do the sailing while we relax on the deck of our yacht, touring the Greek Isles. Yeah, that would be good.

Tomorrow we're off to Renegade! Yippeeee!

15 June 2006


Thursday is blue. They always hang ginormous movie posters on Madison Square Garden. And walking past a 7 story tall Jack Black dressed in this get-up everyday puts a very big smile on my face. I have no idea if this movie is any good, but I do know that Jack Black is a funny, funny man.

14 June 2006


Wednesday is gray. A few seashells from our trip and a dress. One of those dresses that we couldn't not buy because it's so beautiful, but haven't yet had occasion to wear. Some day soon.

Today's a gray day in NY, and I think the gray thunderclouds are soon going to burst. A very nice summery kind of feeling.

13 June 2006


Tuesday is brown. Isn't Tuesday also self-portrait Tuesday? Not sure who started that or if it's still going, but here is my self-portrait/brown week of color photo. (Who knew I was such a joiner?)

I've got four eyes. I've worn contacts for so long that I feel as though I've got giant hubcaps attached to my face. But oh, I can see. I can see every tiny leaf on every tree and each individual tile on each roof even on buildings that are stories and stories tall.

We were watching Superman last night (the original with the ever so yummy and charming christopher reeve) and were remarking that he really does look different in his Clark Kent persona. And it's mostly to do with the glasses (which were, in his case, about the size of hubcaps). So perhaps this glasses-clad person in the photo is really my alter-ego. She certainly looks smarter.

She also, unfortunately, looks very much like Twin. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, of course, twin being a very pretty little thing. But the glasses/contacts divergence was one of the things we always preserved to help people tell us apart. But I'm really tired of foreign objects in my eyes. This can probably be traced back to all that fungus mess people were getting a while back. After reading that NY Times story, (sorry can't find the link but you don't really want to read it, trust me) the tide of my attachment to contacts started inexorably drifting outward. And very likely never to return.

But my new glasses are brown, which may be my favorite color. I know, Jennie, this may be even less exciting than navy blue, but, well, I just can't seem to help it. My teddy is brown. It's a very friendly and comforting kind of color, I think.

I could use a little positive reinforcement on this glasses thing. I don't really look like I have hubcaps on my face, do I?

12 June 2006


Stephanie and mav have organized a week of color. Today is white. I should confess that I took this picture a couple months ago (is that allowed?) but am so glad to have this opportunity to share it. I liked it then and I still like it now. It's a house down the street that is in need of a little love. Our neighborhood is undergoing a slow transition that I won't call gentrification because that sounds negative. It's more like everyone is just painting and planting and beautifying—but without stripping away the heritage and character that lies underneath.

Peeling paint, I think, can be completely beautiful. As can the color white.

home again

We had an absolutely and entirely wonderful week. Relaxing and warm and sunny and friendly and just so very much fun. We had an adventure (in the not-so-fun sense of the word) on our plane trip down and I won't go into the details. Suffice to say that Mother Nature and Airtran conspired together to give us a very long, tempestuous journey. But it was not an omen, as the rest of the week we had gourgeous weather. I'll be posting more pictures and words about our trip over the next few days.

For now I am quilting furiously as the baby shower is Thursday. I have almost finished the quilting and am on to the binding, for which I'll need a rapid-fire tutorial from Twin. I am also hoping to make a Wee Bunny to go with it. And I promised to make chocolate cupcakes for the shower. The mama-to-be got a taste of them a couple weeks ago and apparently they hit some deep chocolate-craving spot. Such praise can only be rewarded with more cake and a few extras to take home for further nighttime chocolate cravings. Pictures of the completed quilt soon, if I have time to take a few before snipping the final threads and stuffing it in a gift box.

01 June 2006

beach bound

Off to the beach. Southbound is always the best direction to be going.

All evening I've had that song in my head, "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go..." which was a mildly sappy song when sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary but reached the heights of cheesedom in that horrible Ben Affleck movie about the end of the world by meteor collision. Jennie keeps singing the "Fanta" song. I can't close my suitcase.

The quilt top is pieced, we've packed a small library between us, and tomorrow evening I will be eating something completely wonderful that my Mom cooked.

All of which makes me extremely, jump-up-and-down, hippy, happy.