5/31/2006

back-tack'd















BT Kat is done! And zooming off this afternoon to Serena in D.C. I will post some full frontal pics when she arrives at her new home. Just a little teaser for now!




















At Serena's request I added a 'W' instead of a "S".

5/26/2006

New bloggy favorites

Some recent places I've been reading:

Pink Chalk Studio - I am in awe of this woman's skills. Seriously, I want to be her when I grow up.
A Dress a Day - cause you can't have too many dresses.
Twelve 22 - Fun stuff
Bara + Design Beautiful, just beautiful. Another who I wish I would grow into spontaneously. Sadly, I have a feeling she's younger than I am...(which is pretty young).

Thats all for now!

Friday Progress Report

No pictures today, sorry no time to stop.
I was a busy busy bee today...

My to do list:

Laundry....check!
Practice kanji...check!
Work on Back-tack...check! (1/2 done, yeah for me)
Knit....check!
walk...check!
Lunch....check! (this is a rarity)
Lemon curd....check! - from Nigella's Domestic Goddess....for tomarrow's breakfast, yum!
Dinner...check! (spaghetti bolognase)
Sing many many rounds of Baa baa black sheep...check!
Blog post....check!

Whew! I can't believe that I got all that done. well not everything got done; my plants are looking rather thirsty, but otherwise...we are ready for our weekend. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll have a FO to show on Tuesday. 3 day weekend for us here, so we're going to take it easy...

oh and a silly photo to end the week!

Fundamentals

So I was looking at the neato papers shown over at Design Sponge the other day, and showing Pete some of the highlights from ICFF.

Me: look isn't that neat?
Him: Its ok.
Him: why is there all this paper....
Me: Its a stationary show.
Him: oh. Its not very interesting.
Me: (scrolling down to the cool outdoor wallpaper) this is cool.
Him: its ok.

(gets up goes to kitchen, comes back out)

Him: That site sucks.
Me: why do you say that?
Him: isn't it all kinda feminine?
Me: That would make sense, she's a girl.
Him: really? Huh, I was wondering where the criticism was. And why the guy was using the word 'lovely' so much.
Me: Idiot.

Does this strike anybody else as one of those basic differences between boys and girls? That women point out things they like (and use words like 'lovely'), and guys feel the need to criticize? And they say we're critical, sheesh.

5/22/2006

WhipLash #6 - Color



whipup



1 fish, 2 fish ...red fish, green fish...




















This is my entry for the final week of Whiplash, Theme: color.

I've been wanting to applique on Blu's clothes for awhile in an attempt to make baby clothes that I actually like - that don't cost a fortune, and so I took a plain white onesie and added some color in the form of some cute little fish. Red with a token green one, for going against the herd, with little (nearly invisible apparently) blue air bubbles embroidered around them.

I know that its not up there with the complexity of some of the other entries this week, but I'm pretty happy wiht how it turned out (and it took me nearly the entire weekend to do!) My husband commented "its not very much color", but I rather like the simplicity of the design..and well I'm a rather monochromatic person - just don't really do the potpourri of color thing, I guess.

In my opinion it looks very stylish on my very uncooperative model:




















hard to see the little bubbles in that one.




















It matches her red pants perfectly!















I'm just glad that I made it in this week. Thank you Whipup for hosting this fun competition!!

5/20/2006

Saturday Silliness


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I have a very silly baby.
We were playing with the camera on Saturday, and she was just making too many funny faces!!


5/15/2006

How was your weekend?



















Mine was fantastic. We had a lot of fun! It was my first Mother's Day yesterday and we decided to take a picnic to the beach to celebrate. The day was sunny and warm, we packed up the baby, blankets and sunscreen and drove to Whole foods where we bought a bottle of wine, some prociutto, cheese, salad and cherries and drove to Muir Beach accross the bay. Early in the morning I walked to Boulangerie and bought a bagette and some cakes for dessert, so when we arrived on the beach after searching for a parking spot and skipping accross hot sand with the stroller and bags, we made some simple sandwiches and drank our wine facing the ocean. It was lovely, and very very crowded. But although the sand was hot, and there were many people, the spray coming off of the water was great and it actually wasn't too noisy.




















And of course the setting was fantastic. Muir Beach is a very tiny beach surrounded by high green cliffs, with trails that stretch back into Muir woods - A redwood tree preserve.

Blu, as I think that I have mentioned before, loves the beach. She just sits staring - at people, at the sand, at the waves. This time though she had a new skill, rolling over! She started this on saturday, she did it once - very wobbly like and slow. And then it was like a switch had been flipped, now she does it all of the time! So because she was rolling around it was hard to keep her out of the sun, I slathered on sunscreen twice though and kept her under a rain umbrella and it seemed to have done the trick. She is not sunburnt anywhere Thank goodness! Peter and I however, are a very different story...


















So a lot of hot sticky fun was had by all. Last night when we got home the baby wouldn't go to sleep, it was so warm, so she stayed up with us and watched La Dolce Vita. This meant unfortunately that I didn't finish my project for the Whiplash competition, but what can you do? There is always this week I suppose, and I'll still finish and post pictures when I get a chance. I'm working on setting up a gallery of photos, but its going to take me awhile - inbetween naps and outings.

5/14/2006

Mattarihonpo








Yesterday I found a really cute site of an illustrator and photographer in japan called Mattarihonpo. They make illustrations for website use, amoung other things. A couple of my favorites: which I hope to use when I update my blog.



5/13/2006

Websiting











Perusing japanese websites, as I am wont to do, I've found some neat things this week. Amoung other places here, here and these:
























Ladybug tacks!















Little knitted kitty measuring tapes, how cute is that!




















Fabulous knitted cozies!

Yarn - and a small rant

The theme of this weeks Whiplash competition is: Yarn. I'm trying to think of something to make; something that maybe does not actually use yarn. But this one has me stumped, although I would have thought that this would have been the easiest week for me to do as there is plenty of yarn lying around here.

*warning* rant to follow....Stop here if you don't want to hear me vent.

I'd like to participate because so far this week there doesn't seem to be to many entrants, I think others are having the same brain freeze I am over this topic, but also I have a feeling that everyone is saving up their creative energy for next week when the Denyse Schmidt book is offered up. I had thoughts like that too. But you know, then I thought its really not about the prizes, its about the creative experience. Focused exercises or competitions like this really help develop ones creativity. Why do you think that we spend so much time in grammar school doing this type of thing? We are all trying to pump up our little creative muscles.
Trying to fit your ideas to a theme, trying to come up with ideas in the first place and executing them without a guide is difficult with out a doubt. But the more that one does this, the more you build upon your past creative experience the easier and faster it becomes. Then you see the awesome work being done by others around you, and some times you think that 'wow I could never do that -I should just give up', not a helpful thought to have. But sometimes you think 'wow that's really cool, I would have never thought of that. But if I think of it from their perspective what can I come up with?' and then you've gotten started.
Using eachother as springboards and support is the value of the craft community I think, the value of Whipup and Whiplash. In that sense I try not to think of Whiplash as a competition - we are not at odds with each other secreting away our ideas and work until the last moment; it is more like a communal project - individuals sharing their parts, and discovering what others have to offer, a much nicer feeling.
I'm sorry for the rant, but I've been thinking about it recently. About craft, and community and the value of Whipup. There were some comments this week that kind of shocked me. That people didn't like the whiplash competition, or felt that it had taken over Whipup in general. I'm surprised at this because I thought that one of the great things about the whole thing was I got to see handicraft by individuals like me - people doing craft in their homes and not afraid to post it, as well as the polished artisans that have degrees and studios and clientele. Two ends of the spectrum as it were. In short, I hope that the moderators continue the Whiplash thing (not even necessarily with prizes) - I like the mental exercise.

5/12/2006

Friday updates

Two steps forward one step back. Whoever coined that phrase was a genius. Life just kinda feels that way sometimes. Didn't feel like doing much today... picked up a couple projects and put them down again after 20 minutes. I've been working on the Trellis scarf from the Spring 06 Interweave Knits, and it was going o.k. but then today I dropped it. Metal slippery needles, plus smooth alpaca yarn equals tangled mess on the floor. Sigh, well I guess this means that I needed to do it again (with fewer mistakes). A couple of times I got to the end of a pattern row, and found that mysteriously several stitches had disappeared (or appeared). Did I rip it back when that happened? No, I just kinda fudged it, a couple of yarn overs or K2togs and kept going. It seemed to hard to rip back lace in any practical way. And well, because its for my mother she should love it no matter how odd it looks, right? Perhaps I'm just not cut out for lace knitting.

In the new Interweave knits though, there are a couple of tips so that even knitting klutzes like me can knit lace. A lifeline: a waste yarn or thread string strung though a non pattern row, one with no mistakes, that will make it easy to rip it back when the mistakes inevitably happen. Wow, why didn't I think of that? and moreover, after I read about it why didn't I use it?

5/10/2006

In which the stash increases dramatically

Today we went on an adventure. A perilous one, involving multiple bus rides, crowded streets, crying babes and hot sweaty mothers. Downtown we went in search of the elusive dream of the perfect black and white fabric, to Britex. Now in the past, I have heard any number of terrible horrible things about Britex. Their selection is expensive; their sales reps are all B*****s, and couldn't care less if you bought anything. In fact they would rather you didn't. A heavy reputation, but I was prepared to brave it. Why? because I was desparate. With Backtack deadlines looming on the horizon, and no sign of my order from Hancocks in sight I felt compelled to at least have something I could use as a last resort.
So to Britex we went. And let me tell you, people who have less than happy experiences there, you have obviously never gone to Britex with a social infant. We were treated wonderfully. I had swarms, swarms, of sales people clammering to giggle at the baby each eagerly piling my selections and expanding on the pinchability of Blu's cheeks. And when she melted down on 3rd floor (buttons and notions) no one batted an eyelash, they simply smiled and so did she. It was like Blu was my bribe, my way in to the rows and rows of cotton and hall of remnants (she never did let me look at buttons though, each time I went close she cried!). I spent way to much, and am banned from further fabric purchases this month. D'oh!

The loot:














These are my Back-Tack fabrics. the one on the left is the one that I originally ordered for the softie, it was sitting on the step when I got home today!















I got too little of the red one, I hope that I have a chance to go back and get some more. I just love it.















Some blues to even out my stash. It was hard to pick things out honestly. There was so much! and I was only really looking at the 2nd floor, the first being way to expensive. I also got some batting, interfacing and handles but no pictures since thats boring.

With the trip to Britex and package in the mail I'm finally able to send off this:
















Going to Anai in Rome. I'm sorry it took so long to send Anai! I was trying to wait for the fabrics to come..and then your birthday present..but that will have to go later!

After Britex we went to visit Constanza at her office. Nice, lots of black computers and guys in black t-shirts. C matches, being dressed in black stretch and leather herself. Blu took fright at something though and had a absolute hysterical fit. for like 25 minutes, I had no idea what to do since she never crys like that but eventually she was just whimpering and Constanza took us to the park for some tea.

In all it was a very long day, and hot!, the longest that we have spent out of the house I think. 3 Diaper changes, as all time increments are counted in diaper changes these days. Blu fell asleep on the way home and went to bed very early tonight after her bath, I tired her out! Admitedly I'm tired too, but happy to have fabric at last.

Tomarrow is mom and baby yoga class for the two of us and some sewing at home. We went to this class on Tues and Blu really liked it, she just stared at the teacher the entire time, and talked very seriously during the Ohm chant.

Hopefully I will have some actual craft progress to show next time, until then goodnight!

5/04/2006

FO Thursday

This is my first true sewing finished object! A cover for Blu's down comforter made from some Aphabet soup reproduction fabric that I simply couldn't resist.















Isn't the pattern fun?
















Here are a couple of my favorite letters:















I think they were searching for something for W.















And what the hell is Xebec?















You have to love the Valise, so classic!!















This one makes so little sense, I love it! It reminds me of Engrish.

So its not that impressive of a FO, just 3 seams sewn. Its basically a giant pillowcase, but boy did I have a time cutting this out! I have no idea why, it just seemed to not want to become a proper rectangle after I prewashed it, and I kept trimming and trimming, and the fabric kept getting smaller and smaller...luckily I stopped before it got too small to fit the cover. But I'm happy with it, and it will certainly be functional - as Blu has discovered the fun and joy of kicking off her coves.

5/02/2006

Car lust















Yes, that is a Ferrari. Sitting placidly on my walk back from the grocery last night.
It is just plain wrong for a car to be that sexy. :-)