Sunday, April 20, 2008

borders without boundaries

I'm gettin' there with my quilt. Last week, I added the big border to the top panel and it's coming together. I'm still surprised of the color scheme and fabrics I picked out for this quilt. They're muted, but bold. The stripes add an interesting contrast, but again, not something I would typically put together. This weekend, I did some homework and sewed the back panels together. I chose the seagreen coriander, surprised again! I've always liked this fabric. I keep hearing that if you choose things you like, they'll come together well.

It sounds like all but one person will be taking the optional extra class session this week. We're the "late bird" group as one of the ladies put it. Hopefully, we'll all be done by then.

This morning, I went out for my first paddle with the Team Survivor San Diego Dragon Boat team. I'm glad to have found a local affiliate and can totally relate to the growing pains (of slow growth of the group, that is) the founder, Angie, is going through since I experienced it while putting together the Minneapolis affiliate.

The San Diego Dragon Boat Team was in the water before us, running heats for qualifying times for the upcoming National Dragon Boat competition. We met three women from the Long Beach BCS Dragon Boat Team who were up for the trials. In between heats, a few of the members paddled with us as we learned how to stroke...doing it in rhythm will come later, I'm sure.

I came home feeling refreshed and enthusiastic, mostly because it was such a fresh breath of air to be around positive, fun people. Work's been a big downer for me lately. Today was a nice reminder to do what you love, focus on things that are important to you and don't sweat the small stuff. I've been missing a connection with a community -- not being involved in diving, hockey or Team Survivor this past year since we've been on the move -- and am looking forward to rebuilding it here, with this team.

Friday, April 11, 2008

last stop, magnolia

It was my first time to fly JetBlue to JFK and was glad to hear that their seats are bigger than most other airlines 'cause I was flying the red eye. Too bad their seats are harder too! Youch, not so kind to the tush when you're trying to get comfy for some shut eye before arriving in the big city.

Linda and I are here for our girls weekend celebrating Virgie's birthday. We started the day with about 5 hours of sleep collectively, so our expectation of crashing midday was close to our actual schedule.

We had a good Spring walk through SoHo (blossoms in bloom throughout the city!), stopping for lunch at Manhattan Bistro (not was just the closest door to The Mercer Kitchen where we weren't able to get a walk-in table) our final destination before crashing from lack of sleep to the famous Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes! We scooted in and out of small boutiques to work off the lunch calories which will soon be replaced with our upcoming tasty treats. The little bakery was abuzz with after lunch cupcake frenzy and had a line out the door.

We were too tired to bite into them right away, so Linda packed 'em up in a box where they stayed safe during our jerky, stop and go cab ride home. Our doorman noticed that our cabbie had a newspaper laid out on his knee and asked if we saw him reading while he was driving. That would explain the less than smooth ride. Only in New York!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

melted idea

Whenever I'm heading up North toward L.A., I'm reminded of the cupcake specialty store, Sprinkles, in Beverly Hills. I keep meaning to make it out there, but by the time we make it to P.V.E., the traffic keeps turns me off.

I've always been a big fan of cupcakes and am excited that the recent cupcake craze is making them easier to come by. My favorite cupcakes are still the chocolate ganache cupcakes from Franklin Street Bakery, with lemon vanilla bean a close second. (Oh, Minnesota, who knew I'd miss you so much?) One of my favorite last-minute birthday gifts was a small assortment of cupcakes from there. I ordered a bunch and set them on a tiered stand for my pal, Ann's, wedding rehearsal I hosted last year. They're that special.

The last time we drove past BabyCakes Baking Company, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to create ice cream cupcakes. It seemed like the next natural progression in the trend. They'd be great for parties! I really thought I was on a roll with "my idea", but it looks like they've been out there for years, from Maggie Moo's.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

gummy pancakes

The search continues for a good neighborhood breakfast place. (I sure do miss Birchwood Cafe! I was so lucky to live around the corner from it.)

We headed out to the Big Kitchen in South Park. Last time we drove around in that area there was a long line to get in, so we figured it was worth a try. The big kitchen spans across two separated eating areas which have respective entrances from the street. The first space is a U-shaped, cramped bar and the other is lined with tables...both with kitschy photographs and paintings. Unfortunately, the Big Buttermilk Pancake, which we hear is supposed to spill over the plate, was rubbery and a bit sour. B seemed to salvage it with a good dousing of syrup. The best breakfasts are still the one which are homemade.

On our drive out, we saw a sign for an estate sale in Kensington and headed out there after our so-so meal. The sale was in a small, Spanish-style house which recently sold. Our finds were a pyrography Flemish Art wooden box, which I'll probably use to store sewing notions, vintage hen and rooster souvenir salt and pepper shakers, cherub-adorned pill box and birds perched on a branch shakers. They had so much stuff in there, it was like entering an antique store.

We saw a guy in there with eBay up on his phone. He had a few Murano lamps stashed in the hold area. Kinda takes the fun away when you know you're competing with people who make hunting into a living instead of adding it to their own personal collection or use. Seeing the prices for some things, I guess that's who the owners were hoping would attend. One lamp we saw was over $900.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

belle rows

My new motto, "If you're having a crappy day, sew!" If I'm loyal to that motto, I have a feeling I'll complete many projects in the near future. I've been taking my job too seriously lately...correction, I've been allowing negative events (read: dealing with people) from work linger in my mind after I the leave the office too often...and it's really wearing me down. Why? Hmm, no good answer. So, I'll try to stop and refocus on things I like and spending time with people I like after the whistle blows at the rock quarry and I slide down the dinosaur's back. "Wilma!" I've put the blocks together and here are my first two rows. Yay!