28 October 2006

earrings, oh my!

Here are my gorgeous new earrings that arrived in the mail this week from sulu-design. Susan is one extremely cool jewelry designer, and a sweetie to boot. If you're local, she sells in some shops around here, and if you're not, well never fear, she has an etsy shop. Go on! check it out!

I am not much of a jewelry person, though someone asked me the other day if Julieree is a corruption of the word jewelry. Ummmm, no. It's just my name. The "ree" being a corruption of "Marie." Because that's my name, see. I never said I was clever.

I love these mother-of-pearl drops so much. And if you're braver than me, she has a similar pair with 3 drops in the shop. So pop to the shop for some drippier drops. (See? I just THINK I'm clever. It's a delusion that I'm happy to keep.)

And look what I did to my new Old Navy sweater. I covered up the logo with a little patch. Not that it's a bad logo; it's that cute little deer. It can't hold a candle to my most favorite logo ever, but it's not bad. I just find logos on clothing a little annoying.

So the question is: are you sick yet of the extreme Julie close-ups? There have been way too many of them this week. You're probably singing to yourself, "You're so-o vain. You probably think this blog is about you. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?" So I will leave you with that song in your heads and promises of a self-portrait-less week next week. For now, I got a baby quilt to make. In a very short amount of time...

Happy weekend!

25 October 2006

dotty shirt

Another shirt made with the pattern from the Built By Wendy book. Same pattern as the Liberty shirt. I went a little crazy: long sleeves, pintucks, ruffled collar, lengthened hem.

Since the previous shirt I made from this pattern was a bit loose across the chest (me being a bear of very little bosom), I didn't add any width to accommodate the pintucks. I think this would have worked fine if I hadn't also decided it was necessary to make the back piece narrower as well. Bad logic or fuzzy math, not sure which. But it's a leeeeeetle tight across the shoulders. When you put it on, you can't first put one arm in the shirt, then the other. No, you have to put both arms in, then shimmy the shirt up to your shoulders. I love it. Getting dressed should involve more acrobatics.

I have a new love. Cuffs. They sound difficult but actually aren't. All the raw edges tuck so ingeniously into the body of the cuff. The buttons go sideways. What's not to love? If only I hadn't put the buttons on one of them backwards. Whoopsy. A friend said it could be my trademark, always having both cuffs opening in the same direction. Hmmmmm....

This shirt makes me so happy. I wore it to work today and it made me smile all day long. I've always been fairly indifferent about the clothes I wear. Growing up, clothes seemed to be a reflection not of the person wearing them, but instead of how much money their parents made, or which brand name they had pledged their allegiance to. It always seemed like the clothes were defining the person, and not the other way around.

Now, as I grow older, my sense of self is a little more sure, and not prey to other people's assumptions and expectations. And as I grow as a designer and a crafter, I focus more closely on the textures, patterns, lines, and colors I choose to surround me. So I guess I'm trying to say I love all the little decisions that went into this shirt. I love the soft dotty fabric, the ebayed buttons, the backwards cuff. There's a story behind it, a story I wrote. And I'm proud of that.

23 October 2006

strippy and bright it is

Thank you so much for all your wonderful input! You fine people with your very fine taste seem to be leaning toward the brighter colors, and I absolutely agree.

So this will be a bright and cheerful quilt. I've been wanting to try a strip quilt for a while, so we're going to go with the less difficult but still very snazzy option A. I think it will be a good opportunity for me to practice my quilting, which is still a pretty raw skill. I am tucking design E and that sweet green print back in my hat. They'll both come out again someday to play, I think.

Now if only I could get someone else to make all my decisions for me. Jeans or chinos. Soup or Sandwich. The order of the Netflix queue. You know, those really difficult decisions.

Thanks again! You peeps rock. And you will hopefully be seeing the finished quilt soon...

22 October 2006

i'm either indecisive or just can't make up my mind—I'm not sure which

I'm working on a baby quilt for a friend. The sex of the baby is TBD, so we're going for gender-neutral here. I've got this really great blue check seersucker I want to use, but can't decide what to use with it. Or what design to use. Basically I can't make my mind up about anything.

Color combo #1 (above) has four options (below). Twin likes the contrast and the cheerfulness of it but the word "garish" did pop up.

So color combo #2 is the opposite end of the spectrum. Very subtle, very quiet. I really love this pale green print—it has the sweetest illustrations all over it. So I was thinking large, uninterrupted areas of the prints. 2 options.

I haven't really sat down to figure out how I would actually go about piecing these, and I haven't even given a thought yet to the quilting. However, time is of the essence, as the shower is fast approaching.

The mom is a hip, very NYC kind of gal.
Anybody have any opinion, advice, thoughts about any of this?

21 October 2006

good good mail

Don't you hate it when the mailman leaves those little notes on your door that tell you that "well, I've brought a lovely package just for you but no one was home to accept it, so I've taken it away again." I hate that.

But he was finally able to deliver it yesterday: my package from Hannah. I sent her some cards and look at this rockin' package she sent me. Such incredibly cool stuff, I can't wait to use it all. The patterns and the fabric and the vintage buttons. Thank you Hannah! I love the cards too--that postcard is soooo funny.

And now I have a crafting to-do list a mile long, and Twin wants to "cozy up" the apartment. Which I think means cleaning. Hmmmmm...cleaning doesn't sound nearly as fun as crafting...

19 October 2006

2 new skirts

I never actually wear skirts in winter, so I'm not sure what possessed me to make two new fall skirts. In fact, I never wear much of anything in the winter except jeans and sweaters. But the idea of skirts and tall boots and tights and knee socks sounds so good, so maybe I am attempting to get out of my stodgy old habits and try something new.

The corduroy skirt on the right is from the pattern in the Built by Wendy book. Very simple, A-line, with zipper at the back. I contemplated complicating it, but Twin just gave me a look, and pointed out that trying anything "fancy" would make it even less likely that either of us would get any use out of it. She has a point.

The wool skirt on the left is a refurb. Picked up at the thrift shop, it was this strange mid-calf length that looked completely ridiculous on me. So I chopped a chunk out of the middle and reattached the bottom with some little pleats.

And what is that nifty little stitchery along the hem? That's from my brand new zigzagger! Last week I blogged about my Mom's penchant for eBaying obscure Singer attachments for my sewing machine and the imminent arrival of my newest attachment, an automatic zigzagger.

And let me tell you, it's a doozy. Lovely big metal contraption that attaches to the machine. And not only does it zigzag, it does scallops, blind stitch, arrowhead stitch, and domino stitch. You choose which little red cam to put in the zigzagger and ta-da! Fancy wancy stitchery.

I love the box it came in and the little booklet that describes how to use it. According to the instructions, "this wonderful Singer sewing aid will enable you to produce an infinite variety of attractive ornamental designs without any special skill on the part of the operator." Well, thank goodness for that.

16 October 2006


It was a wonderful, beautiful weekend with my pops and my sis. We went all the way to the tippy end of "the Island" to Montauk Point. That's Long Island, mind you. We camped at a great little campground right on the beach in Hither Hills State Park. We only half froze our little tooshies off.

We did everything on the list. Add to that climbing the lighthouse, going on 2 hikes, only getting lost on one of them, touring the Hamptons (top-drawer, very top-drawer, dahling), buying pumpkins and fresh-picked apples, and cursing those gosh-darned people who insist on using generators in the campground. It's camping, people. The whole point of going camping is to get AWAY from your tv.

More pix here.

13 October 2006

my weekend =

2 girls + their papa + a VW Camper + blues music + beach as far as the eye can see + chocolate chip pancakes + new towns to explore + long afternoons + quiet reading time + grilled dinners + card games + miles of empty road + chilly 50 degree weather + campfires + smores + a little Arlo Guthrie for nostalgia's sake + who knows what else?

A wonderful weekend to all.
Catch you cats monday.

10 October 2006

autumn-y cards

I use an old Singer Featherweight for sewing. I love my Singer. I think I will have to write an ode to the Singer. Wait for it. My Mom is an eBayer Extraordinaire and one of her favorite pastimes is finding attachments for my featherweight on eBay and sending them to me. Every couple weeks or so, I find a new little metal contraption in my mailbox. Hemmer feet, tucker feet, walking feet. And a zigzag foot. Now because the needle on a featherweight can't move, the zigzag foot grabs the fabric and whips it back and forth. Nice idea in theory, but the effects are rather inconsistent. And thus that erratic zigzagging you see above. No modern precision instrument could result in such wonderful wonkiness. A new reason to love my Singer.

A calmer design, reminds me of a leather sofa.

And a little line of pumpkins. Twin asked me what kind of pumpkins are brown and I told her, well, these pumpkins are brown.

Look at my new chair! Twin and I were walking to the park on Sunday and a lady was selling furniture on the street. I got it for $10. I love how people just set stuff out on the sidewalk here, often free to anyone who will carry it away. A new reason to love Brooklyn.

Mom has apparently found a different kind of zigzagging attachment on eBay. One which will be more consistent AND do scalloped stitching. For those times I want a little less character, and a little more precision. She says it should arrive in the mail this week. How lucky am I?

08 October 2006

a quilted tote and my brand new pigtails

Not that I really need another bag, but this one's purty cute. I was at Purl Patchwork on Friday evening to pick up something for my mom and I figured I just better take a lookie around in case something caught my eye. Which, of course, it did. They had this cool japanese abstract print in many colors, but I couldn't resist the orange.

This a wee little tote—just 12 inches square, more purse than tote. I used some cotton batting left over from the Charlie quilt, so it's just a little poofy. That gray I love, but it's a stretchy fabric which was all slippery and stretchy and wonky. That's always fun.

Inside is this cool Kaufman print I also got at Purl. Looks like tiny Pac-Man flowers. One gray pocket on the interior.

And here's me with my new tote. And since I was taking funky mirror self-portraits, I thought I'd show you my exciting news: my hair is long enough for pigtails!! I'm trying to grow my hair out even though I know full well that it looks better short. Short looks elegant, sculpted, sophisticated, groomed. I know this, but I still like it long. I'm a ponytail kind of gal. Meticulous grooming is overrated, in my opinion.

I hope y'all who have tomorrow off work think of us poor schmucks slaving away and feel really guilty. harumph.

06 October 2006

getting chummy: chinatown

It was cool and gray in Chinatown this morning. I stepped off the train by 7:30 (no easy task for me, I assure you, as I am not an early riser) and had over an hour to just wander the streets, camera in hand. Grocers unloading their trucks, steam pouring out of a noodle factory, mountains of bean sprouts in neat bags on the sidewalk.

I was surprised how wonderful it felt to go slowly and really look at everything around me. This city sets a brisk pace, and it's easy to speed-walk through your day with blinders on, until everything in the background fades to gray and a low roar. I loved this opportunity to go slow and notice little things. It was good. I will do it again.

But not tomorrow. No, I'm sleeping in tomorrow. After that, a bit of crafting is in order because Kelli sprinkled me with some of her creative fairy dust. If anybody can spare a bit of energy I think it's that girl. I would kill for half her get-up-and-go.

Happy weekend!
Oh and if you want to see more Chinatown pix, there's more here.


05 October 2006

getting chummy with nyc

I have lived in NYC for about 2 years now, yet I still don't feel particularly chummy with it.

When I am stressed, or tired, or sick, or blue, NYC can seem not just un-chummy, but downright hostile. The sounds are too loud, the sights too bright, the people too many, and the smells too smelly. Homesickness rises up like a tight ball in my throat and I wonder, how can a person still feel lonely, smack-dab in the center of a teeming multitude of 8 million souls?

My rational mind tells me that it's just that I'm stressed, or tired, or sick, or blue. I tell myself that this challenge, this living in a place that is so different from the place where I grew up, is stretching my mind and my heart like one of those impossible yoga positions where your feet are on top of your head or your nose reaches out for your toes.

My mom always told me that one of the secrets of happiness is learning to bloom where you're planted. I’m trying. And to that end, I'm setting myself a project. I am going to venture out of my everyday routines and well-worn paths, and attempt to get chummy with NYC. Find some beauty and do my best to capture it with my camera.

Tomorrow: Chinatown.

And I'm hoping that the fairy who sprinkles creative energy and inspiration on me while I sleep will return sometime soon, so that the crafting will pick up again. She can be an elusive little thing.

01 October 2006

it looks even better on the chicken,

though twin claims I am trying to emasculate him. Maybe he just likes to wear a pinafore. It is quite cute.