You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2008.

First off, thanks so so much to everyone for the kind comments about my hair cut.  They really brightened my weekend! 

I tried to keep busy this weekend.   Saturday morning I hit the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale as early as I could muster.  It was a complete madhouse by eleven.  It took me a while to find anything worth purchasing but I really enjoyed strolling around and enjoying the (brief) return of beautiful weather.  About two hours in I had three very heavy bags of treasures.

I picked up the bracelets first and even haggled to get them both for three dollars instead of four.  I’ve been wanting some kitchen counter storage containers for a while.  I didn’t have wood in mind but these are still cute in the interim and at three bucks I can’t complain.  The two books were originally bought for kitsch value but upon flipping through them they are actually incredibly useful.  The McCall’s Sewing book has so much information about fit, fabric and tailoring I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.  The Better Homes and Gardens Decorating book from 1960 has great pictures and many DIYideas about maximizing space and creating multiuse rooms, including a guest / sewing room.  These were three dollars combined.  The sweater is Pringle of Scotland and I shelled out eight dollars for it, thinking if I didn’t wear it I would recycle it for yarn.  When I got it home I realized it was riddled with holes.  I was not impressed.  The buttons were twenty-five cents each and I can’t wait to use them on a vintagy blouse.   I think my proudest score was the fifty cent drawer unit.  I believe it was intended for screws and nails and the like but I’ve had something exactly like this in mind for my sewing notions.  I even spiffed it up with some spray paint (which cost much more than the unit):

A great success!

Saturday afternoon I babysat the ever cute Sagan and in exchange for my services I borrowed Michelle’s Husqvarna Emerald to finally put some buttonholes on the dress I’ve been working on.

I bought three ribbons for this but couldn’t get any decent photos of me sporting the others.

Pattern: Vogue 8352 (more on that in a bit)

Fabric: lightweight embroidered cotton from Fabricland

Notions: cheapo buttons from Fabricland.  Ribbon also from Fabricland.

Modifications: (I’m learning!) I lenghtened the bodice and shortened the skirt by about an inch to suit my long torso and short legs.

I just realized that you can’t see the length in either of these pics.  Sigh.  It hits just below the knee. Bear with me, I’m still getting the hang of self portraiture.

I would not recommend this pattern.  I believe that there were actual errors in the skirt markings and the interfacing layout instructions.

Frustrations with the pattern aside, I’m pretty happy with it.  I was worried that it was a little Laura Ashley or Little House on the Prairie upon initial test tries but now I think it looks pretty decent.  It fits well except for the back shoulders being a little snug when I reach forward.  It’s also super comfy and I’m looking forward to wearing it on those unbearably hot July days.

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I ran into a good friend from undergrad this weekend who lives in Toronto and I didn’t even know was in town. She’s a stylish girl and I was in love with her new hair cut. This is the fab Alana who would probably kill me for posting this if she knew I was doing so:

Her hair may be slightly different now. But so is mine! I’ve been growing it for a couple of years now but this afternoon it struck me that I was ready for a change.

So….before:

*Slightly greasy from the no-shampoo adjustment.

And after:

I had in mind something slightly shorter but I was raised by wolves and have a really low hairline in the back so I would have had to get my neck shaved. It wouldn’t be a first but I wasn’t feeling it. I’m really super duper pleased though. Yay for new summer ‘dos!

Also, I made these absolutely sugar-of-any-kind free cookies last night and they’re really tasty if not super photogenic.

P.S. I wore my new gold shoes to work today and now I’m in need of a new set of feet. I think I swore in my head with every step walking home from the very far bus stop. yeeeeowwwwwwch!

I spent much of last week lazing around but I seem to have gotten my productivity back. Today I almost finished a dress. I just have to sew the buttonholes and the buttons but I’m waiting to go to Michelle’s and use her machine which has that miracle invention, the automatic buttonholer.

As I was sewing I was thinking about how much I hate having to turn on one of our wall sconces in the middle of the day because the corner of our living room where my kitchen table is located is so far away from the window. And so a plan was hatched to move all of my furniture (via pushing and pulling because apparently I have no upper body strength or desire to remove things from bookshelves before moving them).

Of course I forgot to take a before pic but here’s an old one from when we first moved in:

Drum roll please………..

I still have to tidy a bit and my landlord will have to polish all my floors. It feels bigger and look how sunny my dining room table studio is! I haven’t checked yet to see if I totally screwed up my digital cable but let’s not kill my joy.

Also:

  • I love this article. Funny cause it’s true.
  • As of this Monday I’m going shampoo free. I’ve started using a baking soda water mixture and so far so good so cheap. For the various reasons many people are going this route see this post.
  • I am very close to winning some awesome apparel from Ebay. I don’t want to jinx it. I love how you can buy awesome stuff dirt cheap online. I may be addicted. Wish me luck.
  • In Treatment has got me completely hooked. I will warn you, the first two weeks are a bit of a slog but it’s all juicy from week three on.
  • I’m still doing really well with eating healthily. My jeans feel looser today but it could all be in my head.
  • This is no thanks to Second Cup whose Skinny Chai Latte not only tastes like crap but has 440 calories. For a Skinny!!! I’m sorry I ever strayed, Bridehead.
  • This combines so many of my favourite things.

Usually when Chris goes away on business or what have you I end up eating microwave popcorn or cereal for dinner.  While that may be o.k. for a weekend, six months of eating like that would probably have me dying of scurvy.  So, I’ve made a concerted effort to cook real meals for myself and so far I’ve been successful – except for generating an obscene amount of leftovers.

Last night I decided to try to make some of my favourite Japanese foods.  I haven’t been overly successful with Japanese cooking at home because some of the ingredients are hard to find and they never quite measure up to the meals I enjoyed at my favourite restaurants in Obihiro.  On Monday, Michelle and I shopped at a new to me Asian market and I found Inari no Zushi wrappers and I do believe I squealed.  I know it makes me hopelessly unhip but I’m not a huge sushi fan.  But I could eat Inarizushi all the livelong day.  It was not nearly as hard to make as I expected.

I also made miso soup, again something I haven’t had much luck with at home.  This time it was great.  And with like 35 calories and packed with nutrients how can you go wrong.

So, without further adieu, my fancy pants meal for one:

I even made sencha!

I’m also super proud of myself for doing really well with kicking the sugar (full disclosure: there was a small amount of Turbinado sugar in the sushi rice but it made so much rice it was really very, very little) and I’ve also been eating really well in general.  I also tend to consume my weight in chocolate when Chris is gone so I’m really proud of myself.  Hopefully it will keep.

I have a bit of a sore neck today so I decided to forego any sewing until after my massage therapy this afternoon.  Instead, I went to Staples to get supplies for some long overdue organisational projects.

First, and less exciting are removable labels so I know what some of the bulk ingredients are up in the cupboard.

I don’t have a printer so I jazzed these up with sparkly gel pens.  Good times.

I’ve been throwing around the idea of getting a big cork board for my kitchen table studio so that I could tack up patterns and notes while I’m sewing.  But since it would have to go on my newly decorated living room walls I didn’t want anything too overwhelming.  I spotted these cork strips for $5.99 and thought they would do the trick.

Obviously I could not abide by the ugly black plastic so I thought a makeover was in order.

First, I used a DPN to pop the cork out of the frame.

Then, I got out my dollar store craft paints and mixed a few purples to make one that matched the ubiquitous floral fabric I used for my floor pillow.  I used a foam brush to paint over the black plastic.  It took three coats to hide all the black. I forgot to take a picture of this step but it looked a little something like this:

Next, I cut out some strips of fabric that were just a bit wider and longer than my cork strips

and used some  Amazing Goop to adhere it to the cork.

I let the glue dry and then the tricky part; popping the strips back in.

(By the way: when you google image search the word frustration almost all of the picture are of people kicking their computers.  Computers are frustrating.)

I used the handy sticky strips on the back to stick them to my wall at about eye level when I’m sitting.

And then I did some blow off a hooker’s stomach.*

*just kidding**

**It was angel dust.

I’ve lost a photographer and gained a tripod but I don’t have much talent with using it yet. 

Pattern: Rusted Root by Zephyr Style

Yarn: Brown Sheep Co. Cotton Fleece in Provincial Rose – 3 skeins and a teeny tiny bit of a fourth

Needles:  4 mm 24 inch circular, 3.5 mm dpns for sleeve bind off

Modifications: (I’m so happy with how this section is growing!) As I mentioned before, I did GoodKarma‘s neck modification but I dropped it down five inches instead of four.  I probably could have done an extra inch or two (what can I say, I like my décolletage). 

I did two extra decrease rounds at the waist.

I finished it off with a picot bind off around the neck, bottom and sleeves.  I thought it complimented the lace section better and looked sort of like thorns with the leaves.

Why do I make the stupidest faces when I’m taking self portraits?

I’m so happy I made the medium because I’m sure the large would have been too big.

I ended up drawing out a chart by hand for the lace section because I couldn’t stand having to stop and read whenever I got to the insert.  I would not advise transcribing while watching tv because I left out a yarn over and ended up having to frog fifteen rounds when I noticed my mistake.  I also had to frog the bind off once and add another repeat because it was comically cropped.  I’m actually starting to embrace frogging.  You get a perfect product and more knitting!

I updated the shop too!

Can you tell I’m crazy for vintage cabochons?

Yesterday was a momentous day, although I did sleep through most of it.

If you ever want to feel like you’re in a Michel Gondry movie, wake up at ten to four on a Sunday morning and start frying eggs. I speak from experience here.  Chris left yesterday and it was harder than either of us expected.

We’ve already decided that waiting until the end of October to see each other again is not going to happen.  We’re going to scrimp and keep an eye on seat sales and make a visit or two happen.  This plan has already made things easier.

I gave my mom her mother’s day gift on Saturday.  She has promised to get pictures of her wearing it but for now my bookshelf and wall sconce will have to suffice as models.

This is Simplicity 3542.  It ties in the back.

My mom never gave me her measurements so it’s a miracle that this fits.  She reports that she got a lot of compliments on it at work yesterday and that the big pockets are great.

This is a Robert Kaufmann fabric that I purchased on ebay.  It looked completely different in the listing.  I don’t think I’ll order fabric from ebay anymore.  The contrasting fabric is broadcloth from Fabricland.

Apparently I didn’t think I had enough to deal with yesterday so I also decided to give up refined sugars for three weeks.  This started as a plan to give up fruit juice and all other sweet things but from there it’s a slippery slope to giving up carbs and I can’t deal with that.  I’m also trying to lay off the dairy after a week of upset stomach. So far I’m doing well and I have avoided eating my feelings.

I’m hoping to get a big shop update done today which will include some cute cabochons earrings!

And she’s not quite sure how to use them.

I was most looking forward to receiving the Japanese patterned pair but now that they’re here I actually prefer the gold ones.  They’re more comfortable and the green on the second pair is more green that they appeared online.  I like them both a whole lot though and I can’t wait to wear them to work.

I don’t think I would normally wear these with nylons (it’s not advisable with open toed shoes – right?) but I had to give props to these new ones I bought to wear at Chris’s party (thanks to everyone who came and helped out – we really, really appreciated it).   They’re Filodoro Classic, they’re made in Italy and I got them at Fancy Socks.  I’m now convinced that legwear is one of those things where price equals quality.  These fit really well, they feel great and I’ve worn them twice and they are still without holes or runs which is more than I can say for regular department store nylons.

Number of days until Chris leaves for half a year: 9

Degree of energy I’m redirecting from my anxiety about him leaving to knitting: full throttle!

This is about two days worth of knitting Rusted Root:

I’m super pleased about the square neckline that is much more flattering on full busted gals than the original high neckline (although I’m not quite as busty as the maternity-type t-shirt I’m wearing above may suggest). For this I only have Goodkarma to thank. I knew I didn’t want to knit the original version but the thought of trying to figure out modifications in my current state of mind was just too daunting. I even offered to sell my yarn to Nat. Ravelry to the rescue! Goodkarma’s brilliant solution was to knit the back and sleeves flat until you had the neck depth you desired and then to cast on the front stitches. Easy!

My solution to the oddball skein of Cotton Fleece was lazy; knit the medium size which only calls for three skeins. I’m actually really happy I went this route because my Wicked is a bit big and cotton stretches.

I’m kicking off the weekend in a few minutes with lunch with friends in honour of Chris at Sweetgrass, followed by the big going away party hosted by my mum tomorrow evening. I’m also looking forward to brunch on Sunday with Ingrid, who in a bizarre coincidence is on the same flight back to Halifax as Braden. Zany!