Saturday, October 27, 2007

cuffs and covers

Last summer, my hockey pal, Barb, taught me how to hem pants. I don't think she believed that my excitement was genuine when I finished the first pant leg. Being 5'3", I've taken many pairs of pants to the seamstress and at roughly $15 a pop, it sure adds up. Since then, I've hemmed a few more pairs and, today, evolved to adding a tailored cuff to my slacks. It was easier than I expected and added a little flair to otherwise, plain ol' slacks. Today's fun project was a new cover for woobie using the Modern Petal fabric by Westminster Fibers which I've been wanting to use since I brought it home. I was also able to fulfill a promise of an Xbox cover for you know who with a cute outer space motif fabric from Joann.

Friday, October 26, 2007

tray magnifique

After all the unpacking this week, it's finally beginning to look like a livable space again. So, I snuck a quick, fun project in last night while watching a Resident Evil movie. (In prep of Halloween, of course. Plus, those zombies are no match against me and my glue gun.) I picked up an old breakfast tray during one of our early SD hunts, mainly to use as a comfy surface for my laptop. It was dingy and an awful bright yellow. I was able to spray paint it a clean, satin cream during one of my lazy afternoons and it just needed some finishing touches. I glued a striped ribbon around the edges and affixed new foam on the bottom surfaces. Et voila! Just in time to enjoy breakfast in bed on my last day of leisure: my fave matcha steeped with lemongrass and honey, which I got hooked on at Muzi in Vancouver and steel cut oats, which is ready when I wake up and is a perfect batch every time thanks to my fancy, new rice cooker. You can see the pile of books forming on my bedside table. The top is stacked with Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts and Bend-the-Rules Sewing, fresh from the mail box this week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

we're safe, thanks!

Thanks for the calls and emails...sorry we didn't send out notification earlier. We're safe from the fires going on down here. They're North and East of us, at least half an hour away.

Traffic has been light since a lot of offices (our apt. parking lot has been full during the day) and schools have been closed. There's been an air quality advisory to stay indoors since Monday. The sky is really hazy from the smoke and you can smell it in the air. Our pool is littered with ash.

We'll send an update if anything changes, but we aren't in the path of danger.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

taking a breather

Friday, I took a "day off". Sounds funny since every day has been a day off since we moved from Vancouver, but that day, I consciously took a day to relax and just enjoy myself. No thoughts of to-do lists, laundry, sewing projects and, thankfully, job hunting. It's been a nice luxury to take time off between jobs, however, the time has come for me to rejoin the workforce.

I started the countdown of time off remaining with a special day to myself. Of course, I had to indulge in a stop at Anthropologie. Then, I treated myself to a sit down lunch on the patio where I'm sure I paid too much for a Mexican lunch this far South. The margaritas on the other tables looked refreshing, but going solo meant being my own designated driver. I wasn't envious for long 'cause once I was seated, I was immersed in my own little sunshiney world with my headphones on, flipping through Sew What! Skirts, my latest goodie which arrived in the mail. The reviews have been positive for this book and it sounds almost foolproof (read: up my alley). Once I got my fill of fajitas and skirt designs, I hopped over to Sowing Sisters in Carlsbad for even more inspiration. They had a few skirts displayed which looked familiarly like the ones in my book. It must be a sign of my next sewing project. Last stop was a visit to my cousin's in Oceanside where I was delighted by the cutest toddler twins, Maya and Evan. So adorable(!) and so inspiring for a sweet handcrafted surprise in the future, I'm sure.

Now that we're a bit more settled in our plans to stick around here, we're faced with the task which has been looming over our heads for the past six months...unpacking. It's a welcomed improvement to be able to reclaim the other room as livable space and especially to have our things out of boxes (and find out what I didn't sell during my mad rush to meet my move date). It sure was nice to take a break before doing so though...that's how we were able to capture a glimpse of this hummingbird on our walk around the 'hood who looks to be taking a little break of its own.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

granny finds

More exploring of our neighbhorhood...Less than half a block out our door, we came across a yard sale where I rummaged through a box of someone's late granny's jewels. I think these will look great as embellishments. My fave find is the pendant bauble watch. We wound it up and saw the gears ticking away! We decided to (calorie) splurge on breakfast at the Crest Cafe this morning just a few blocks away. yum. The background on the pic is a tray we found at a local shop on our way home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

don't kill the messenger

Earlier this year, I learned how to make tote bags during a weekend class at Crafty Planet in NE Minneapolis ("Pop, pop, Rhonda!"). That's when I was introduced to Amy Butler fabrics. I was instantly inspired to learn how to sew just so that I can create something, anything with her fabulous prints. That day, I came home with my first tote bag and made two more before the end of the weekend. I moved on to a yoga mat bag later that week, then started on a matching messenger bag to take to the gym. The messenger bag was an ambitious project. It was more than just sewing two squares or finishing an edge on a big piece of fabric. I was almost done, but was cut short with the whirlwind move to Vancouver. So, into the moving box it went, where it traveled 3200 miles in six months. It shows its battle wounds from a novice sewer, but it's finally done! I'll take it for a test drive to the gym tonight.

Monday, October 15, 2007

mmm games

One of our recent thrift store finds was a set of 3M bookshelf games -- Quinto, Phlounder, Twixt and Oh Wah Ree -- in close to new condition. I guess they really did sit on someone's bookshelf for the past four decades! These pre-Post-it games have been keeping us busy since we brought them home. Quinto, which is like scrabble with numbers, has been getting most of the game play. So far, the Quinto high score on one turn is 75. Mind you, that wasn't acquired during our Oktoberfest Quinto match last Friday, which I don't recommend. Your head hurts doing the math during the game, then the morning after from the brews. Counting the empty beer bottles in the morning does not count as extra credit. I'm not sure how successful we'll be in completing the set, but the 3M reference sure makes me feel nostalgic for my Minnesotan friends.

I was originally inspired to start a blog by the crafters' blogs I've been following online. Since I have time off, I unpacked my sewing machine and am hoping to finish up my projects I started before the move to Vancouver. I'm a bit rusty and am new to sewing to begin with, so I thought I'd get my feet wet with small projects. Small successes help to keep the motivation going. I wanted to make something I could actually use and, if possible, learn a technique too. These coffee cozies seemed like a good start, esp. since I can also try my hand at embroidery. Not bad. Eco-friendly, unique and functional. Do you know what Santa's filling his gift bag with this year?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I spy an eye

For Brian's birthday, he mapped out a bunch of thrift shops for us to explore which took us to areas of the city we haven't checked out yet. Lunchtime was obvious when the crankster in me began to show itself. The closest place to eat was It's a Taco Shop, which could pass for a Clowns Gone Bad outpost with its red and yellow striped exterior. We feasted on a carne asada burrito which was basically a bunch of chopped up meat with guac rolled up in a tortilla. I can't imagine eating a whole one by was a lot of meat. Tastes great when you're hungry, but ten minutes later, you can really feel carrying around that meat wad in your belly. Eventually, we ended up in the North Park neighborhood next door to ours. I love how the older neighborhoods have signs as you enter them. A mural in an alley near 30th Ave. and University caught my eye. You can't see it in this pic, but the artist really showed good lighting effects.