Things I’m Diggin’ Right Now

March 13, 2009

This photo cracks me up. Bill boarded CJ when he was here for the Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend. The groomer put a bandana on her and Bill took a picture of CJ for me. We’ve never put a bandana on her before, and surprisingly, she didn’t try and chew it or rip it off. She’s so good… Anyway, this picture cracks me up because I feel like she’s humoring us. That if she could roll her eyes, she would. Sort of like teenagers getting their picture taken? I’ll move on…

On this crazy Friday the 13th, I thought I would let you in on a few things that I’m diggin’ right now.

1. This video of CJ. I’ve been missing my animals tons lately, so Bill took a video for me. It makes me smile. It’s a minute long.

2. The latest edition of Knitty. Particularly Hanne as I am really into the vests/wraps lately.

3. The tomato and mozzerella panini from Panera. But don’t look at the nutritional info. Trust me.

4. The gnomes from this Etsy Store.

5. This print and this poster.

6. This Dutch Over in lemongrass and yikes, I just saw the price! But I still want one.

7. Apartment Therapy. Love everything about it. I am obsessed with decorating my new house.

8. This rug. Something about the colors.

9. Dancing With the Stars, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Grey’s, Big Bang Theory and Medium.

10. Spring. It’s in the air. I feel it.

Have a great weekend!


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Will I Have More Energy In California?

March 10, 2009

I surely hope so. The last couple of weeks have found me a little zapped; further proof that I am so ready to be done with this dual household situation. Alas, it is not in my control, but it doesn’t stop me from hoping that it will end soon and that I’ll feel myself again. I have tried getting up in the mornings to go to the gym, hoping that some activity will get the blood and energy flowing again. I have even, uncharacteristically too, sat in front of the television and not had a project in my hands (gasp!). So I’m balancing doing the things I need to do (like eating some fruits and veggies and getting some exercise) and listening to my body which appears to be telling me it would like some down time.

The good news is that I was motivated to work on my kitchen curtain this weekend. I had all the materials and a game plan, thanks to the book Sunset Curtains, Draperis & Shades. I went with the London Shade (thought I made it as a valance). I am very pleased with the end result. I had a little trouble with the pleats, and fought with them and the iron for a good amount of time, but it was worth the effort. They are fully lined and I just love the beaded trim accent. You can see the full curtain here though it doesn’t do it justice as it’s laying down versus hanging. I also hand-stitched the gather in place so I could control how it looked and I don’t think you’d be able to notice except that I told you. And it is in need of a good ironing, but since it’s just going to be packed up in a box, I figured I’d iron it once I get it unpacked.

I am just loving the fabric though which will fit well in my 1960′s – 70′s kitchen. I have some new cushions to make with more fabric in this line (Anna Maria Horner’s Drawing Room), so that’s my next project. And after that, I will work on my living room curtains.

I know that I will be in California eventually and I will be quite pleased that I’ve gotten through as many of these projects as I could. But for the rest of tonight, I think I’m going to read a little and get up early tomorrow.

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Amazon Made Me Do It!

March 5, 2009

I *never* thought I would want an ebook reader. Never. I love bookstores, and bookshelves, filled with papery-goodness. I love picking up a book and reading the back of it; having a cover grab my attention. I love seeing my bookshelves filled with a diverse selection of books, none of which ever seem to interest me when I’m looking for a book to read. I love actual books.

So then why did I buy a Kindle? When Oprah announced it as one of her favorite things it didn’t faze me. When my mom was visiting for the inauguration, we talked about it (at Borders) and I wasn’t interested. Bill has an ebook reader and he really liked it, but he’s a gadget guy. So what, oh what, would possess me to buy one???

Stupid Amazon made me do it. I fell for the propaganda. It just looked so pretty. And it fits 1500 books. In such a small little container. One of the “problems” that Bill and I have when we travel is books. If we go to the beach for a week, we each probably need to bring about 7 – 10 books. At the beach, I generally read a book a day. And it’s happened where I’ve taken out a new book for the day, and finished it at 2, and not had another book to start. That wouldn’t be a problem with the Kindle. And then when we are flying somewhere on vacation, and space in luggage is limited, we are always trying to find space for our books. Plus, there’s the problem of what will I feel like reading? I need options! Bill and I read a lot of the same things so we try and coordinate books that we can both read, but we read at different speeds so that gets hard. Once, when we went to France for a week, I bought us fat classics that would last the whole trip (Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Three Musketeers). That worked, but a lot of times, on vacation, I’m looking for the brain candy.

I called Bill to have him try and talk me out of the Kindle. And then I found out he really wanted one but he thought it was too expensive. That led to the guilt. He already knows he likes ebooks. I wasn’t sure I would. He generally doesn’t treat himself to things (like I do with the yarn, and the mani/pedis, and the purses…) So I bought one. For him. But I still wanted one. So I thought about it. And 10 minutes later I bought one for myself. And then I called a friend to figure out how we could rationalize the cost.

Our kindles arrived in the mail a week ago. I bought a book, found all the free books on Amazon, bought a couple of books for under $1, loaded a couple of classics from Project Gutenberg and I was set.

I do enjoy reading on it. The e-ink is easy on the eyes. I love that I can really easily look up a word in the dictionary. I love that I can have a broad library of books available at my fingertips. It has a lot of other features too, but I really just bought it for the books.

What I am not happy about is that it did NOT come with a case, and it didn’t come with any free downloads. It just seems like for the cost, you should get something with it. Even my Coach purses come with a little storage bag. And Bill’s old ebook reader came with a pleather case and some free downloads. I also think that it needs a stand and a remote. I sometimes read sitting at a table and I find myself looking down at it which is definitely not good for my neck or posture.

I did pump out two quick cases. I like the design but I am not happy with how these turned out. I was in a hurry and could not get my head around it and how to do it with finished seams on the inside. I think I’ve got it now, but didn’t have the luxury of waiting and taking my time. We heard a couple of horror stories about cracked and scratched screens. Yikes. So that’s something else I am not sure about it – it seems pretty fragile.

For now I am loving it. I am reading My Antonia by Willa Cather and I have looked up 3 words in the dictionary.

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Fabric Adventures

March 3, 2009

I have recovered from my Fabric Adventures this weekend. As you may recall, this summer my mom and I discovered the fashion district in New York City, and all the amazing fabric and trim shops that can be found within a 4 block square. It is amazing and can be quite overwhelming! Well, my dear friend Claudia loves to sew (and is quite amazing at it) and I thought that she would be in heaven. I also had some fabric “needs” so we scheduled a girls weekend. As it turned out, Mom’s hubby was on travel so it really was a girls weekend. Claudia and I drove up on Friday night. It took forever and my GPS had a mind of her own, but it went by pleasantly with all kinds of girl talk. Saturday we had a relaxing morning and then took the train into NYC for our shopping adventure. And what an adventure it was!!!

I was looking for some pretty eyelet to make myself a nice summer shirt, and then fabric for another shirt, 2 kinds of trim for curtains, and some zippers. The eyelet I found was awesome! It is really delicate and beautiful and I’m a little scared to sew with it, but I’m going to be brave. Of course my pattern is packed so it’s going to be awhile before I get to it. I also found some beautiful cotton fabric from Italy, which almost looks like silk (for another shirt). Then, the trims I found were perfect! One is a beaded trim for a curtain that is going in my kitchen, and the other is some fun/funky little pink balls to hang from the curtains in my living room. Plus, I found some other awesome beaded piping that I am going to use for a most elegant pillow.

This is my third fabric/trim shopping trip and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Because it can be so overwhelming, I know that I need a shopping list and a basic idea of what I’m looking for and what I’m going to make with it (and how much I need). That doesn’t prevent me from making impulse purchases (like some amazing silk chiffon that is going to become a skirt or some fun ric rac) but it does help me stay focused.

I think we only went into 4 stores in the course about 4 hours. But we took our time and enjoyed every minute. Of course we worked up an appetite so we got hot dogs from a street vendor in Times Square. It was just enough to tide us over for our delicious pizza dinner back at my mom’s house. We ate while watching Vicky Christina Barcelona which was good. Penelope Cruz was very good in the movie and I can see why she won the Oscar.

Sunday morning we had plans for breakfast before driving home, but it was snowing and we were worried about the big snow storm that was going to hit the East Coast. No sit down breakfast for us, but we made it home before the snow.

I love the picture of me and Claudia. We’re standing in front of Grand Central Station and it looks like everything (including the lights on the station) are moving, except for us. We’re in focus. I think it’s cool.

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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