Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Talented Sister

Thanks for your feedback on the brush delimma - I'm still torn! Argh. I'll let you know what I end up doing. Check this out:

Handmade goodness from my uber-talented sister - a GORGEOUS bowl! She has been taking a ceramics class on week nights and this is her first (yes, that's right, FIRST) coil pot project. !!! Isn't it just the living end? I love the colors, love the irregular lines around the outside (looks like the ocean, doesn't it?), and I LOVE the little spirals around the rim. It really does remind me of the sea.

This was meant to be a cereal bowl...but that almost seems too lowly a destiny for such a chic little coil pot. I imagine once I get a decent apartment I'll put it out on a coffee table or something. Eek, nevermind. I just thought about knocking it over. Mmm. This will take some careful thought...

Here is the rest of the package she sent (she puts together some amazing packages I tell you). She sent some of Jane Iredale's new makeup, and a lovely little pad that has a magnetic closure to protect the pages...perfect for throwing into a purse or bag.

I am spoiled ROTTEN. I'm also thrilled to pieces because this year hubby and I are vacationing in sunny SC for my birthday and aforementioned talented sister's birthday. Our birthdays are back-to-back, and two years apart :) There were a few years growing up that we hated it - both of us wanted all the attention, but we eventually loved it. One way we learned to love it is making each other birthday banners out of long rolls of paper. We haven't had a chance to do that in YEARS and we're actually doing it again this year!!! I'm so excited I could squeal! Whatever cake we end up getting, we plan to decorate it with colorful icing, put up balloons and streamers, and have a good old-fashioned birthday party like we did when we were kids. I CAN'T WAIT!! Maybe we could even get in some roller skating. That had to be my all time favorite activity growing up. SC, here we come!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My hubby gave me a very sweet Christmas present - a $200 gift certificate to Eva Scrivo's salon here in Manhattan. My dilemma is how to use the moolah. My original plan was to buy this here Mason Pearson brush:

It is supposed to have magical powers to calm frizz by transferring the natural oils from your scalp throughout your hair. It accomplishes this feat through it's boar's hair bristles. It is also handmade in England. It is also friggin expensive. Potentially more than my gift certificate (WTF!?!) depending on the size I would get. So a week ago I was convinced I would get this brush. But then, I wonder now if I should try getting a fancy shmancy hair cut at the salon instead. Martha Stewart goes there, after all. I have very long, all the same length, wavyish, frizzyish hair. Hubby was thinking if I want to try something new (but still long - I think his world would be thrown into an alternate dimension if I were to cut it short), that I might want to cash in while I'm here in fancy shmancy NYC. Apparently the professionals at Eva Scrivo's salon also have magical powers called the "Uncut", which is a layered cut which claims to not need a blow dryer to look cool. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate blowing my hair...I always end up looking like a poodle who stuck its tail in a socket. Also my arms have somehow never gotten used to being held up above my shoulders for that length of time. That is a tiredness I despise more than frizz. Also I hate the idea of being dependent on a hair dryer when traveling, AND I hate the idea of heat ruining my already frizzy hair. So you see my dilemma? What should I do?!? On the one hand, I have this magical frizz defying brush. On the other, a potentially cool looking 'do. Both would undoubtedly go above and beyond the gift certificate. Indecision I hate you!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Many happy returns on this Easter Monday :) I'm still confused as to why Easter is in March this year...does anyone know the reason? I have always associated Easter with April...mmm. Perhaps I'll celebrate Eastern Orthodox Easter this year - I think they're having it in April. Warmish weather seems to be a prerequisite for egg hunts in my mind. I'm telling you - as soon as I'm geographically close enough to my family to celebrate these sorts of holidays, I'm going to arrange an egg hunt. You're never too old to hunt for eggs!! Or to stuff your face with chocolate. Or put flowers in each other's hair. I remember one magical Easter I spent at my grandmother's house with all my cousin's when she let us pick whatever flowers we wanted out of her garden and put them all in each other's hair :) Very, very fun stuff. I miss Grandma :( She always had the coolest, most impossible-to-find places to hide the prize egg, which was always purple. One year she hid it in the knot of a tree behind a bird's nest!! She was so fun. I always think of her when Easter comes around.

Here is an image of one of my all time favorite cartoons - Disney's "Funny Little Bunnies" (1934). It's a Silly Symphony, and is one of the sweetest possible cartoons. Here is a link to it on youtube:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Putting Myself in Imaginary Shoes

Oh how I wish I could go on a shoe-buying blitz on Anthropologie's website. Aren't these just so lovely? MAN I love these things.

There are so many cute shoes, and they're all over $100. Sigh. One day I will splurge. My mother actually splurged on a $128 pair of flip flops for me years ago. They also were from Anthropologie - gorgeous things. They're wooden platforms painted dark turquoise with elaborate beaded flowers on the velvet thongs. I've worn them only a couple of times (I have been a fashion victim most of my life - only VERY recently am I starting to pull together my weird tastes into cute outfits). If my family is able to get together for a beach trip this summer, I plan to bring along my fab flip flops to wear with a little summer dress. These are also some shoes I've fallen in love with:

They remind me of the movie "In Her Shoes." That movie was wonderful, and the shoes were just yummy. Upon further reflection, these do look a tad strange.....I am an artist after all. If I'm not going to dye my hair blue, at least I can wear some weird shoes, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm in Love

Isn't this gorgeous? April Cornell is one of the most sentimental designers to me. I hate that most of her stores in the U.S. are closed now (I believe she's based in Canada). She makes some beautiful, beautiful fabrics for bedding and tablecloths, and also some fabric collections through Moda. I have several aprons I bought in SC before her stores closed that are to die for, and a set of the cutest's one big, round potholder with two buttons to hang four smaller teacup shaped potholders. I've got to post a picture of it at some point. Oh my word - I just found out she has a blog! I definitely plan to use some of her fabrics in a quilt sometime soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting back at my sisters - Part 2

Voila! The charming handbag (wonderful pattern from angry chicken's book, Bend the Rules Sewing). This will be winging it's way tonight to my eldest sister, the other culprit involved in sending me such a sweet package. Believe it or not, I made this in one evening - last night. It was so fun! I love love LOVE this pattern. Amy put the instructions for this together in such a great way, it was a pleasure from start to finish. I used thrifted material for the outside - it's not cotton, but a kind of slick, sturdy material. I think it used to be a curtain. The ribbon comes from a box of Godiva chocolates my hubby gave me for Valentine's day (man I love that ribbon), and the lining was a gift from my mom-in-law.

I had this fabric all picked out a week or more ago, as soon as I saw the ribbon on it that is. It's very bold and funky, but then so is my dear sister! I hope she loves it. I carried it around work to take photos in a nearby empty conference room (where I nearly dislocated my shoulder taking that first picture), and it actually is very ergonomic. I believe I shall make one for myself one of these days.

Here's the inside - I actually think it's mysterious and cool that it's such a contrast to the outside fabric. Here's hoping it really is, and not just my weird opinion.

I decided to continue the ribbon around the back - I much prefer things like purses to be consistent on both sides, especially with something as dramatic as very RED ribbon on cream fabric. All in all I'm really happy with how this turned out. I hope my sister is too!

Getting back at my sisters - Part 1

So - the theme for today is: no good deed goes unpunished :) I'm giving my freakazoid sister a sneak peak at her present I made her for sending me all those lovely goodies the other day (I forgot to take a picture of the fancy shmancy pasta and cherry cola she sent - yum!). The elder culprit sister involved will be getting her payback tomorrow. I made her present last night, and will post it shortly. SO - I made myself a little white hat over the last week or so, and of course left the pictures on my other computer (curses), so I'll post that in the coming days. I then made my sista a paisley version which I hope I hope I hope she likes. Little did this thrifted pillowcase know it would one day be a hat :)

It actually fits way better than my white think I'm going to adjust the white one a bit. I got the pattern/tutorial from curiously crafty - fantastic pattern! I am so impressed that she came up with this - it fits like a glove, and really is easy to make if you have a little experience sewing. I cheated on the covered button - I just took a little button I had and covered it with a circle of the hat fabric, then sewed the edges together underneath then onto the hat.

The lining is pretty nifty...I didn't have enough of one fabric that looked right, so I just took two pieces each of three scraps that looked good together, and actually I like the effect better than just one fabric for the lining.

I WAS going to post the second part of the present, but I wanna leave that as a surprise after all :) I will post that after the recipient gets her package today :)
More to come soon....

Monday, March 10, 2008


On Friday last week I got the sweetest package in the mail from my two sisters. I had been searching for these old curlers we used to use as kids that were twisty rods covered with colorful rubber. When they were shopping a while back they came across said curlers and grabbed 3 sets for me!! Then they proceeded to pile in super sweet extras like this gorgeous coin purse:

Oh my word, I audibly gasped when I opened this. I was sitting at my desk at work tickled to death to get the package and just tore in. I wish I had gotten a picture of the pretty wrapping job they did on all the pieces, but that is now safely stored in my drawer for future gift wrapping. Here are the rest of the goodies they included. The scrunchy is an especially sweet gift since it is a highly sentimental April Cornell scrunchy that I have admired on my sister for years. She just sent it saying she missed me. OH I have to get her back for that! I see handmade goodies heading her way in the near future...

As if I wasn't spoiled ENOUGH by getting this wrinkled egg style package, I also got a lovely purse from my boss :) She just got back from Buenos Aires, which is a famous place to buy leather. The flowers are also leather, and the petals all have little wires so they're moldable. It's so chic! I have already filled up my coin purse and slipped it inside in anticipation of warmer weather. I plan to use this in the summer, and to upgrade from my current little wallet to angry chicken's pattern for the no cash wallet. I figure I can put all my change in my little change purse and keep my cards and bills in my "no cash" wallet.

I also wanted to show you a photo of Lisette from Rowan 36. This was my first attempt, which I have since completely pulled out because the gauge was too tight. Yes, I made all that progress before I gave up and reassessed my gauge. Another reason for starting fresh was to try the shoulder shaping again on the back piece (left in the photo). For some reason the instructions make NO sense to me. Whatsoever. At all. I feel retarded when I read them, and I just know I'm missing something obvious. GRRRRR. I'm nearly to the shoulders now on my retry (gauge being perfect now, thank heaven), so I will let you know if I have any more luck.

I am suspicious there is something wrong with the directions, but really it's probably just something wrong with my brain. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More Booties

Here are the booties I mentioned earlier this week. Both pairs are for co-workers who commissioned me. YAY! I'm a commissioned knitter :) I used Sublime baby cashmere merino silk dk...which is unbelieveably soft. The pattern was from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and the needles I used were bamboo double-pointed US #2. These were so fun to do - I love double knitting!
These were shot in a conference room at work, which has the coolest black marble counters near the window - makes for a great photo studio, even on a cloudy yucky day.

I think the pink ones are overall my favorites. The bows work so well and look perfectly girly without being, er, over-the-top frilly.

I had to put something on the backs of these because I made a row counting mistake on one which made it look a little shorter than the other. Ahee. Hopefully it's not too noticeable. I honestly didn't even figure it out or notice it until about 30 minutes before I gave them to the ricipient. I think the bows help the issue, and also provide a nice detail in an unexpected place. Plus, I actually fell in love with the plain front on the blue for some reason. The color is pretty amazing.

The coolest thing about these projects is that I have some left over uber-soft goodness to use for another small project, perhaps a headband? I have a headband pattern in the one and only Rowan magazine I own, number 36. I fell in love with the Anthropologie style patterns, and I'm currently working on Lisette. I've not seen a single completed version of this sweater online, so I might just be the first to post a finished example. Cool!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fishtrap Cardigan

Hello all!

This will be a bore for my family who has already seen this sweater, but I wanted to share with the rest of the blog world (I'm also posting this on Zimmermania).

This was completed for Christmas 2006, and was knit at a frantic pace. It was my first time knitting an aran pattern, first time doing button holes, and my first time steeking (aka CUTTING the finished piece to make it a cardigan- eek)!!! It took me about two months to knit - like I said, frantic. The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac, which is a fantastic book. It's the fishtrap cardigan, which is the very first chapter in the book. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern. I plan to knit the pull-over version just so I can do this pattern again. I initially ordered natural cream wool from Schoolhouse Press, but it smelled funky and was extremely coarse (and a lot yellower than I anticipated), so I sent it back. I might have tried knitting it if it were for me, but this was for my mom who is not the biggest fan of I opted for Lamb's Pride worsted in creme (I think), which is a lovely blend of wool and mohair. Doesn't she look fabulous in it?

If I don't have her figure when I'm her age, I'm going to cry. I'm hoping I inherited enough of her genes (and perhaps I'll be lucky enough to inherit her jeans?)

I actually harvested those buttons from a sweater I received as a gift but that fell apart in the wash. They matched this wool perfectly. I am a penny-pinching miser, so the fact that these buttons were free is a point of pride.

She wore the sweater last time she was in NYC with a gorgeous hat and long wool skirt. I wish I had a picture of that outfit - my mother has some serious style, especially when it comes to hats.

So I plan to keep posting some old photos of knitted creations to share with you. I have just agreed to knit two pairs of baby booties in the course of this week. Um, I think I can do this. I am now a commissioned knitter! Cool beans. Hopefully that means I will have new stuff to show you as early as this Friday! Yay!