Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Labor of Love: Secret Project for Hermanacita

My lovely little sister is getting married, hence the heart picture above. After picking her brain a bit, making her look at pictures of quilts (an activity Grandma and I love and she mostly tolerated because it was related to a gift for her) and settling some of the ideas rolling around my brain, I have finally purchased fabric and am excited to get started. In case Hermanacita is reading this, I will post all of my progress here. No peeking Lil Sis! All the rest of you are welcome to check out how things go over there. (My postings are under Andriann.)

I'm excited! I've never done such a free form project should be fun! When it's all done, I'll post some pics here too. Tee hee....I love a secret project!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tourist Encounter of the Best Kind

Today I met a NY tourist I loved! (Don't worry hon, not like that.) He stopped me as I was walking to the subway and asked how to get to Little Italy. Honestly, it's been a while, and it's not like there is a "Little Italy" subway after I hemmed and hawed for a minute, I pulled out my tiny subway map set aside for emergencies like this one and began to tell him where to catch the best subway. He interrupted saying, "Not by train. Walking."

(I have just been informed by a reliable source that Little Italy is exactly 3.95 miles from where we were located.)

I showed him where we were on the map (near the lower left corner of Central Park) and where Little Italy is (oh, almost at the bottom of the island). He asked where Columbia is on the map (nearly 10 blocks north of the top of Central Park on the red line...a mere 2.76 miles away.)

None of this phased him. So, with a bit more respect, I pointed him in the right direction and off he strode, saying, "The only way to see the city is to walk."

This guy gets it! What a NY way to be! I love the determination, the self-assured "I can get there on my own two feet" approach, the desire to see the city and the willingness to pay for the pleasure, not in dollars but in blisters! I could have run up and given him a great big friendly New Yorker hug (again, not like that hon!) God bless you where ever you are....hopefully eating cannoli and lasagna, and not in one of those touristy joints. You deserve the real thing! Hats off!

ps. I am a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) and I just loved observing his clear body attitude as he headed down Broadway...lifted shoulders, structured upper body, striding into the sunset! All part of "carrying himself" exactly where he wanted to go.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Favorite New T-shirt

I made this! Or more accurately, I re-purposed this! Inspired by Christina and her fun etsy shop, I started thinking about what I could do with this t-shirt in my closet that is just the right color and fabric, but had a crew neckline that never looked right on me. I always thought I should wear it, but when I put it on it screamed into the mirror (and my ear) "BORING" and "BLAND" and never, "Wow! You look cute, girl!" So back in the closet it went almost every time.

After playing around, this is what I came up with! Now, every time it comes out of the wash I want to wear it again. I love it! It is soft in texture and color, now with a flattering neckline and fun buttons. (The buttons are the reverse side of mother of pearl. This way you see the brown texture of the outside of the shell rather than just the shiny inside. What a fun discovery!)

ps. I don't think the buttons are actually uneven as they look here, but maybe I better double check! Even so, I LOVE wearing it, which is what matters most. And I got a "brand new" shirt for FREE, which matters second most! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Learning how to hand-quilt

This past weekend, this quilt idea popped in my head quite suddenly as a completely finished project. That doesn't happen to me very often! I usually get an idea and then tinker with it a little at a time until it all comes together....(or sometimes doesn't). I guess with a simple pattern like this (kind of Rothko like), it isn't hard to visualize it all at once. When I discovered I had colors in my stash that perfectly matched what I had in my head, I decided to make it. I started it Wednesday morning and by about 12:30 I had it all ready to (basted and everything!) to take to the hand-quilting class at City Quilter.
Here's the little bit of quilting I finshed in class. I love doing this for some reason and am going crazy that I left this project in NYC while I came to visit family in the West. I just keep thinking about hand quilting!!! I am excited to keep working on this. The quilting pattern will be all flowers and swirling spirals....yeah, my favorite! We'll see how it goes. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Civil War Round the World Quilt - WIP

I began this quilt several years ago, got as far as making the strips and then stashed it when I realized it would bigger than the end of the hall wall where I planned on hanging it. (I seem to have a penchant for not quite comprehending the finished size of a project I start, like this wall hanging I made for my Grandma. I thought I would make four baskets until I realized that ONE basket was almost 16 inches across!)

In any event, I recently picked the strips back out of the box and started piecing it and finally finished the center medallion last night. It will have a wide dark purple border (like the edge triangles) and be a large wall hanging size. I like it, but haven't decided it I like it "hang it on my wall" like it. Will it work in my living room or is it destined for someone else's wall? Time will tell.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Don't tell my mom!

Tuesday night at 2:45 a.m., while my husband slept peacefully at home, I was in my PJs in the back of an NYPD cruiser! What mischief did I get myself into this time you ask?

It all started with the former bar (now "restaurant") downstairs, that has had a long run of late night, bass-thumping extravaganzas that have done nothing to endear itself to the sleep deprived tenants upstairs, myself and hubbie included. A year and a half (and one eviction lawsuit by the landlord later) the matter still isn't entirely resolved. So when I was awoken again at 2:30 a.m. by shouting, drunk men just below my bedroom window, I decided to go investigate with camera phone in hand. ("Ha-Hah!," I thought. "We will finally kick those crazy bums out with the condemning pictures I am about to take.") But surprise, surprise, the restaurant was closed and quiet! It was the typically unobtrusive bar on the corner that had a gaggle of drunk men hanging in front.

Ah, how drinking can make you smart! In response to my request to please not shout as it was 2:30 a.m., one of them said, "You know there's a bar inside, right?" REALLY? I am so sorry to interrupt you then! Please shout away! Should I have said, "You know there are other people in NY, right?" But instead, after repeating my request, I turned to go back inside when one guy decided that the best response to my little visit was to throw a city trash can through the nearest van window....and walk away!

My adventurous night now included: following the fleeing suspect on foot (can you be "fleeing" when you are just taking an inebriated stroll?), a 911 call, deciding that pursuing men who know I am alone and calling to report them to the police was perhaps NOT the best thing to be doing, giving my police report and then riding around in the cruiser IDing (or un-IDing as the case may be) possible suspects! I suspect they will never find who did it, but it made for an interesting night for me. And one more thing to add to the list of NYC firsts....

The joys of the Big Apple! May you not drink yourself stupid and may you enjoy a quiet night's sleep where ever you are!

p.s. Is it quiet where you are? I was fantasizing about living in a place where you don't get woken up by what happens on the street, maybe because nothing is happening on the street...What would that be like? I think I've forgotten!

p.p.s. In case you were wondering, the seats in the back of the cop car are surprisingly comfortable...although I was sitting in them without my hands handcuffed behind my back and there is virtually no leg room even for someone like me with very short legs. If you thought airlines had no leg room, don't get arrested in NYC!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beginning the little collection...

After reading myself silly on other people's blogs . . . . admiring lovely quilts (like this one or this little one or these), reading musings on chickens and creativity and life, staying up way to late consuming epic stories of falling in love, making delicious recipes (like this one for flax seed crackers . . . Who knew you could make crackers!) . . . I've decided to jump into the blog-o-sphere!

Inspired by all the creativity out there, I am sure my blog will contain projects and favorite recipes, but only time will tell what other thoughts and things end up in this little collection. Welcome!